Do you eat this?

This afternoon I went to Safeway to get some groceries, and while perusing the produce aisles this lady came up to me holding a leek and asked me.

Leek Lady – “Do you eat this?”

Me – “What?”

Leek Lady – Waves the leek around in the air “Do you eat this?”

leeks exactly like these. kidding! no ginormous leeks at Safeway

A little surprised as to what she is asking me, but I realized she is basically asking me if Asian cuisines use leek. At first I thought it was a little offensive as I have gotten a lot of questions like. “Where are you from?” which I answer “Chicago“. But then they ask me “Where are you from?“. At this point I know what they are asking. They are really asking what my ethnicity is. Look I’m from Chicago. I’m Chinese, but I’m not from China. I think the Leek Lady was just curious about Asian cuisines. No harm there.

Normally in Chinese cooking leek isn’t used, but green onions are. They look very similar, but green onions are thinner and less flat than leeks. See how the leaves are lot smaller than the leek.

look at these green onions

Green onions are the immature form of an onion. Fun fact about green onions and leek: if you plant the ends of them that have roots you can grow green onions and leek in your own kitchen and harvest them in a few months.

Me – “Well normally in Chinese cuisine we use green onions”

I walk over to where the green onions, and wave the green onions in the air.

Leek lady – “Oh okay” Bags the leek and walks away. 

I am glad I helped her clear her confusion of leeks and green onions. Now you too are educated on the difference between green onions and leeks.


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