Though we all love a little bit of lettuce in our salads, we do not know how many varieties of lettuce are there. Here are some common types of lettuces that we run into.
These types of lettuces are recognized by their compact round head of leaves and are often the mildest in taste. These are often valued for a tender texture and crunchy taste. Some common varieties of lettuces that come under this category are Bibb lettuce, Iceberg lettuce and Butterhead lettuce. The Butterhead lettuce is the one with the least compact head, followed by the Bibb lettuce and then the Iceberg lettuce, which has the most compact head of leaves.
Cos Or Romaine Lettuce
This kind of lettuce is known to be the most nutritious and is recognized by elongated leaves that grow outwards unlike the head variety that grows inwards. The leaves are often bunched together. Some may even consider it the most flavourful variety. This variety of lettuce is loaded with antioxidants and cancer fighting substances. It is also considered good for improving the immunity. There are many varieties of Romaine lettuce such as Parris Island and Red Romaine.
This kind of lettuce produces a cluster of leaves, which grows outwards. The leafy ones grow the fastest and are often preferred by people who wish to grow vegetables at home. Apart from being rich in calcium and other minerals, like many other varieties of lettuces, it is also rich in organic oil. Some varieties like the sour and pungent Arugula is known to neutralize the flavors of very tangy salad dressings, when included in salads. In fact, the strength of flavor in an Arugula is directly proportional to the size of its leaves.
This variety of lettuce gains its name from its thick stalk, which is cooked and prepared in ways similar to asparagus. A very common type of asparagus lettuce, the Celtuce, is prized for its leaves as well as the stalk. In fact, the stalk is more prized than the leaves, which often taste bitter. They can, however, be used in salads when harvested young, which is the time when this variety is crunchiest and tastiest.
The Chinese variety of lettuce has a non-head forming and has long spike leaves that often taste bitter. Instead of being used in salads or in other raw foods, it is used in stews and stir-fried dishes.
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