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The Top Ten Lettuces of All Time

The Top Ten Lettuces of All Time



Have you ever been sitting around, watching the game, drinking a beer (or maybe some Yellow Tail), and had a sudden craving for some lettuce?  Of course you have – we all have.  Lettuce has always been one of the most overlooked snack foods; traditionalists still like to think of lettuce as nothing more than “the backbone of the salad.”  Based on the lines at most of the lettuce takeout shops here in Chelsea, NYC, that is simply not the case.  Herewith, our guide to help the savvy snacker navigate the many delicious choices in Lactuca Sativa.


The Top Ten Lettuces of All Time


10.  Chinese

Leafy and delicous

Pros: Really brings out the tanins in an ice cold Nehi Peach beverage; also cookable

Cons: Hungry again a few minutes later (mostly because of the negative calories, not because of the whole “you’re hungry again in an hour after eating Chinese food” stereotype)


9.  Boston

Crunchy and versatile

Pros: Looks like an artichoke; tastes similar to Cheetos

Cons: Consistently exhibits smug, superior attitude; sticks to teeth


8.  Lollo Rosso

Moody and multi-layered

Pros: So sophisticated looking, will make friends jealous; colors run through significant portion of the Roy G. Biv spectrum

Cons: Difficult to decide which end is the most edible; not as suitable for “snacking on the go” as other lettuces


7.  Taco Bell Volcano

Zesty and filling

Pros: Infused with horse estrogen and nacho cheese; nice seasoned ground beef aftertaste

Cons: One of the few members of the lettuce family that you don’t burn more calories by eating than you do by ingesting


6.  Buttercrunch

Crunchy and buttery

Pros: Inspired poor-selling line of Girl Scout cookies; somewhat resembles a lion’s mane

Cons: Cats of all types are lame; actual butter content is surprisingly low


5.  Tom Thumb

Almost alliterative and surprisingly filling

Pros: Delightful in early spring paired with a Diet Coke with Lime; can be used as a boutonnière in a pinch

Cons: Doesn’t get the party started as much as its name suggests


4.  Summer Crisp

Warm and crunchy

Pros: Somewhat counterintuitively, is crispy year-round; splendid as both the filling and the wrapping element of a lettuce wrap

Cons: Not available at the bodega around the corner; depressing to eat in NYC in February when it’s fucking 12 degrees


3.  Arugula (the honorary lettuce)

Mustardy or spinachy

Pros: Makes you feel like a real fucking fancy pants when you eat it; it’s fun to ask the uneducated whether they like it and hear them try to pretend they know what fucking arugula is

Cons: Not really a lettuce, although my investigative reporting stopped short of figuring out what it really is.  This isn’t friggin “top ten arugulas.”


2.  Romaine

Regal and stout

Pros: Leaves can be used as a dustpan; standalone, it tastes a bit like lamb vindaloo

Cons: Its reputation got overstated a bit during the Caesar Salad Boom of the late 90s


1.  Iceberg

Timeless and circular

Pros: Structure/concentration of the layers allows for eating like an apple; perfect snack for when you are starving but have a weigh-in in the next few hours

Cons: Makes you pretty full after 2-3 heads



Chilly17

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