by Use and Flavor

Crisp leaves have neutral to mild taste

Crisphead lettuce (Iceberg) has densely-wrapped, pale green leaves similar looking to cabbage that are crisp with a neutral watery taste.

Popular fast food lettuce and salad bar choice for its long shelf life and low cost.

Romaine (Cos) is made up of elongated, narrow leaves that are crisp and tender. Heads that are immature (loose and easily compressible) or mature have better flavor than dense heads (less bitterness, more sweetness).

Popular for caesar salad style using croutons, shaved cheese, pine nuts or pepitas. Romaine lettuce that is extra trimmed to inner, tender light green leaves results in “Romaine hearts”.

Tender leaves have delicate buttery to strong peppery

Butterhead lettuce (Butter leaf, Boston, Bib) is a smooth rosette of tender, light green leaves that have a mild, delicate, buttery taste.

Popular leaf for salad wraps.

Good with viniagrettes and asian salad recipes. Can be more expensive.

Looseleaf lettuce (Green leaf, shown) is most often named after the color or shape of the leaf (red leaf, oak leaf). Tight rosettes of individual leaves are green, red, reddish or purplish in color. Depending on variety, leaves can be smooth, curled, ruffled, or oak-leaf shaped.

Used in mesclun and in many bagged lettuce blends for firm but tender leaves. Pairs well with mediterranean style salads using fruits, nuts, cheese.

Mesclun (Spring Salad Mix) is a mixture of small, young salad leaves which was originated in Provence, France.

Popular gourmet salad blend for color, flavor and texture. Good with viniagrettes and mediterranean style salads.

Spinach is a flat, smooth leaf. Spinach with small, narrow stems are younger and more tender.

Popular salad leaf used with poppyseed dressing and strawberries. Classic spinach salad uses mushrooms, eggs and bacon.

Arugula (Rocket Salad, Italian Cress) has a peppery and slightly bitter flavor.

Good with soft goat cheeses or shredded hard cheese, artichokes, roasted red peppers, red onion and sweet viniagrettes.