My parents hail from California, so I had never eaten a fried vegetable until high school, when one of my mother's friends introduced her to fried okra. It was a completely foreign dish, and I distinctly remember almost gagging from the grease content the first time she made it for me. Never before had I consumed a vegetable that had not been steamed - as that is the most perfect way to retain all the flavor, crispness and vitamins. I also had never eaten a vegetable served from a can - the BLASPHEMY of such!!