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The first time I tried goat cheese, I was a young professional working in South Denver. I had never really been invited to a “co-worker” lunch before, and I was very excited when my supervisor asked our group out to lunch. I remember, as I recall so many of my first experiences with food, the event clearly. So clearly, in fact, that many times I can conjure up the tastes from those experiences, which I could later replicate. This is one of those times. The place was Cucina Leone, a subtle, lovely restaurant I found out later has the best soup in the entire world when you’re sick. On the specials menu for lunch, there was a wilted salad.

“It’s a warm salad,” one of my co-workers explained. On it, it had roasted red peppers, spinach, caramelized onions, and something called chevre.

“What’s this chev–rrree?” I asked.

“CHEV-re. Goat cheese,” my supervisor declared.

“Ah,” I said suspiciously. “What’s cheese normally made from?” Yes, this was before cooking school and after graduate school. The only thing I knew was there was some difference between cheddar and mozzarella.

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