April 2, 2010

"The loser lettuces..."

"... romaine and — dare I suggest it — iceberg."

28 comments:

David said...

NoNoNo.

Iceberg is the lettuce.

With Rusky dressing anyway.

Growing up I thought it was the only lettuce.

David said...

Read the link before commenting, David. Embarrasing.

edutcher said...

Ann Althouse said...

"... romaine and — dare I suggest it — iceberg."

When you say that, smile.

Paul said...

The reason Iceberg lettuce is such a good choice, in spite of being derided for a lack of nutrients in recent years, is that it is rich in intestinal flora and an aid to digestion. One more piece of traditional wisdom, albeit a small one, that the lefty boomers in their juvenile desire to remake and improve society tossed aside.

ET1492 said...

I'm on a fitness kick and along with daily vigorous exercise, I've returned to my old college wrestling diet – raw spinach salad with kidney beans, canned tuna or sardines, various raw vegetables and balsamic vinegar.

I eat a few other things like oat bran or some other high fiber cereal for breakfast, broiled fish, chicken, and sometimes a low calorie protein shake with a banana and plain nonfat yogurt in it, but mostly I eat salad till I'm stuffed.

Also, no beer. [sob]

Baby spinach got old quick and I've started adding iceburg and romaine to the mix. They add good texture, flavor and moisture so you don't miss having fatty dressing as much.

I'm a big fan of cabbage – plain old green cabbage, red cabbage, savoy, bok choy – and I add it to a lot of soups and casserole dishes. But it can take a while to cook and it can stink the house up, so I like the idea of lettuce as a stand it.

Dr Weevil said...

Kidney beans and four kinds of cabbage, ET1492? I'm guessing they don't just "stink the house up" before you eat them.

traditionalguy said...

Romaine rules.

Palladian said...
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Palladian said...

The original Caesar salad is prepared tableside, with raw egg, olive oil, fresh garlic, Worcestershire sauce, salt & black pepper, wine vinegar, lemon juice, Parmesan cheese and large, fresh croutons. You pick up each whole spear of Romaine with your fingers and eat it leaf by leaf. Wonderful!

And iceberg lettuce is valuable for its texture. I actually prefer it to the characterless limp masses of baby leaves flooding the markets.

As an all-purpose lettuce, I usually choose Boston lettuce which possesses a good balance of flavor, texture and tenderness and isn't too bitter. And cooked lettuce dishes can be wonderful. The classic French laitue braisée, lettuces braised whole for several hours in white stock, bacon, butter, and carrots. Delicious!

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Iceberg is the Twinkie of lettuces. No way is it in remotely the same category as Romaine.

jaed said...

Palladian, tube socks would be delicious if they were prepared by braising for several hours in stock, bacon, butter, and carrots.

(vw: cenceing. To cence: to braise for several hours in etc.)

Palladian said...

" Palladian, tube socks would be delicious if they were prepared by braising for several hours in stock, bacon, butter, and carrots."

That's the point! Lettuce serves its purpose, whether cooked or raw: as a delivery system for delicious fats and flavors!

Ritmo Brasileiro said...
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Chip Ahoy said...

Wow, now that makes me want to go get an iceberg lettuce and chill it in ice water, cut it into four sections and pour homemade dressing all over it. RIGHT NOW. Since Paul told me about the flora I have the perfect reason to do it.

But tonight I made meatballs. Saladlessly. Wanna see?

Penny said...

"That's the point! Lettuce serves its purpose, whether cooked or raw: as a delivery system for delicious fats and flavors!"

This brought a big smile to my face, Palladian. While it may be true for you and me, to a whole heck of a lot of other people, lettuce is that thing you can pile on your plate and know for sure you are on a diet. Four cups of iceberg is only 25 calories!

Penny said...

Not only the "loser lettuces", but the losers' lettuces.

Beth said...

My favorite steakhouse in New Orleans serves only a few sides, and the salad is a wedge of iceberg. Can't have a wedge salad with soft little greens.

I like to shave fennel into some romaine. Yum.

But I like the little leafy things, too. Today it is a tradition for Catholics to make gumbo z'herbes, a gumbo made of leafy greens and if you are observant, no meat. Otherwise, you can flavor it with ham. The tradition is to use an odd number of greens, and all sorts of lettuces make it into the gumbo pot, along with mustards and collards and chard and kale. Greens are good.

Scott said...

It is so freakin' hard to find decent iceburg lettuce in northern New Jersey. Most of it must be going to the washed and preshredded crap in the plastic bags, which costs four times as much by weight.

I love butterhead or Boston lettuce when it's available. Expensive but worth it.

rhhardin said...

Loser lettuce.

traditionalguy said...

The Fresh Express salad plant is nearby. I recall they had a materialman's lien problem from refridgeration pipe installers when they remodled their huge building. They are a huge corporation. But I have always respected the food industry/canneries that produces so much for so many at such low cost. I hope Obama's Socialism changes on everything in America doesn' do a trick on these guys too. Atlanta is a regional distribution hub for fresh produce from Florida north.

AllenS said...

If we don't get the global warming problem solved, there'll be no more iceberg lettuce.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Why eat iceberg lettuce when you can eat the more soluble version of the same thing?

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

All sorts of fun things you can find out on the internets these days:

Lactucarium (or “Lettuce Opium”) is a mild opiate-like substance that is contained in all types of lettuce. Both the Romans and Egyptians took advantage of this property eating lettuce at the end of a meal to induce sleep.

Paul said...

I remember reading that lettuce has a small amount of lysergic acid too. Dunno if that's true as you would think all those grumpy pinch faced folks at Whole Foods with their salad fetishes would be a bit more cheerful.

Then again being overwhelmingly liberal means their inherent malcontentment would trump any little bit of trippy joy in their otherwise bitter existence.

TheGiantPeach said...

Lysergic acid indeed!

Sort of related.... I have noticed from time to time, and it always strikes me as very odd, that I will encounter a word that I have never before heard in my life, and then within 24 hours, the word will crop up again, in a totally different context.

Today, I had lunch with a friend, who served a really nice salad, which he told me was called "mescaline." I questioned that, and now I see from the linked article that the type of greens mixture that he served is called "mesclun," a word which somehow had failed to breach my consciousness until today.

Somehow, "mesclun" sounds like something that should show up in word verification.

Oh, and I love iceberg lettuce. But I regard it primarily as an excuse for Wishbone Italian dressing.

Christy said...

Giant Peach, I've always thought of it as "mescaline."

Fraid I tend to be a food snob and hadn't eaten iceberg in years and years, convinced as I was that it was a nutritional zero. Bought some recently and remembered I actually like it. What a relief to learn that it's fashionable again. It is, isn't it? In the NYTimes and all?

Largo said...
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Largo said...

Several varieties of wild lettuce will make a fine base, but don't scrimp on the nutmeg.

Remember, it's the spice that makes it nice!