Top 10 Lettuce VarietiesI am not sure if I am starting a healthy lifestyle series or not, but from time to time I get more interested in this subject.
There are 7 main types of lettuce and many varieties within each type. These are the main types:
1) Butterhead Lettuces
2) Cos (Romaine) Lettuces
3) Batavian Lettuces (aka Summer Crisp Lettuces)
4) Buttercrunch Lettuces
5) Heading Lettuces (Crisphead Lettuces)
6) Looseleaf Lettuces
7) Chinese Lettuces
Lettuce's scientific name is Lactuca sativa.
Its full name is Boston Butterhead Lettuce, but at least in Canadian stores, it goes by Boston Lettuce for short. It's very tender, crispy, and juicy.
(a.k.a. French Crisp or Summer Crisp)
It stays crisp, doesn't bolt, and doesn't turn bitter as easily as other lettuces. It can hold up better in the heat than other varieties.
Batavia Lettuce leaves can be all green or burgundy red-tinted. There isn't a taste difference between the two, so choose the color you like (or use both).
The leaves stay tender even when they're bigger than a human hand. It's a very beautiful butterhead lettuce variety. It has green leaves tinged with red or bronze. It can be grown all year round in mild-winter gardens.
There are 2 varieties: 'Red Oak Leaf' and 'Green Oak Leaf'.
Oak Leaf Lettuce stays tender longer and takes longer to become bitter. It is slower to bolt.
I swear I didn't make it up! (I mean, the name of this lettuce.)
I will add images to prove it does exist (and it tastes good).
It's relatively tender. This is probably the most common lettuce type in Canadian grocery stores, along with Iceberg and Romaine (Boston, Batavia, and Rucola are also available but are a bit more expensive).
Probably its biggest advantage is that, when unwashed, it can keep for up to two weeks in the fridge (that's longer than the other types).
It's juicy, crispy, and hardy, but it isn't as flavorful as other lettuces.
Firm, densely packed heads that are heavy for their size are better.
Best dressing: cheese-based (Three Ranch Cheese, Blue Cheese).
It has slightly bitter leaves, and some people don't like this bitterness, but several drops of honey or maple syrup will help to neutralize this bitterness.
Center ribs are sweeter and are known as Romaine Hearts (available in stores).
It is a variety of the Buttercrunch Lettuces - they are crosses between butterhead (bibb) and romaine varieties. Winter Density has thick, dark-green leaves in a vertical rosette.
Butter, Boston, and Bibb lettuces are very similar.