Lettuce -

The chief salad plant of modern days, is probably native to the Greek Islands. In England, the type generally known here as Romaine still bears the name of "Cos Lettuce," after the Island of Cos, which now belongs to Turkey but was formerly under Greek rule and is noteworthy as the birthplace of Hippocrates and several other famous men of ancient Greece. It was first used in England in 1520, and King Henry VIII conferred a special reward upon the gardener who devised the combination of "Lettuce and Cherries" for the royal table.

The many varieties under cultivation are capable of general classification into three principal types - (1) Cabbage or head Lettuce, the most widely cultivated form; (2) Romaine (which see) or Cos or Leaf Lettuce, and (3) Cutting Lettuce, which forms no head, being instead cut while the leaves are small and giving in that manner two or more crops.

If the leaves are washed for salad making, they should be thoroughly dried afterwards with a towel or napkin. If the head is close and good, no washing is necessary after the removal of the outside leaves, as the inner leaves will be quite clean.

The heart of a head Lettuce should be firm, crisp and bleached - a rusty red tinge is an indication of overlong keeping.

Lettuce will keep fresh longer when the roots are left on the plant.

Arround Lettuce in The Grocer's Encyclopedia


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