My first real job as a teenager was bagging groceries at the local grocery store. It was the first of many food-related jobs for which I’m truly thankful. Not only did I learn the proper way to place cans in a paper sack, I also encountered a number of ingredients and foods I’d never heard of. This was the late 80s in Los Angeles County; you’d think that we were really cosmopolitan back then, but we weren’t.
Hand in hand with discovering gourmet items like capers or chutney came a vast array of junk food my mom had never bought. Working late at night, I would see folks come through the line with frozen burritos. They were cheaper than a "run for the border," so I bought a few. Yuck!