Lettuce


The popular vegetable came to America with Christopher Columbus. It is used as
an ingredient in salads, sandwiches, hamburgers and also as garnish in different
dishes. It contains a good source of vitamins A & C and potassium, among others.
The darker the green of the leaf, the more concentrated the nutrients are.

Types

Crisp/Iceberg

The most popular in the US. However, it is the one containing less nutrients, has a very gentle flavor, and even though its texture is crisp, it is heat sensitive. Iceberg lettuce grows tightly around each other resembling cabbage sometimes.

 

Cos/ Romaine

Known mostly for being used in Ceasars’ salads. It is crisp and has a strong flavor. The leaves are long and wide and grow vertically (up).

 

 

Leaf/Looseleaf

It is also referred to as cutting lettuce. They are attached at the stem and spread out at the top without forming a lettuce head. Mild in flavor and usually a dark green in color.

 

 

Butterhead

It is also referred to as Boston or Bibb lettuce. This type has the sweetest, butter-like flavor and texture of them all. Leaves of this lettuce are of a medium to dark green and they resemble an open rose.

 

Stem

Also called asparagus or Chinese lettuce. Used mostly in Asian cooking for stir-fry dishes and such, has a mild flavor and a crisp texture.

 

 

Specialty Lettuces

Endive

There are two types of endives.

The curly endive has a somewhat bitter taste, thin and curly leaves, and is sometimes called Chicory or Frisée.

 

 

The second one goes by the name of escarole, its leaves are flat and pale green, and it tastes slightly less bitter than the curly variety.

 

 

Arugula

Also known as roquette, rocket, rugula or rucola. Its foliage is larger and of a darker green than the open lettuce. It is an aromatic green leaf. Arugula has a strong resembling pepper or mustard.

 

 

 

Spinach

Is the leafy green with the highest nutritional content, particularly high in folic acid and iron. There are three varieties of spinach. The savoy has dark, wrinkled leaved and has the strongest flavor. The flat-leave has spade shaped medium green leaves and a milder flavor. The semi-savoy is a hybrid, but still has wrinkled leaves like the savoy.

Radicchio

Has a distinctive appearance being of a deep red/purplish color with white veins, it has a strong and bitter flavor.

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