Saturday, April 2, 2011

Does anybody still eat iceberg lettuce?

Iceberg LettuceImage by joana hard via Flickr
What's the attraction of iceberg lettuce? Does it have any nutritional value?

You can't miss rising produce prices, but now, ShopRite supermarkets north of Trenton are doing something about it.

The sales flier in my newspaper this morning labeled three deals with the word "WOW!" in red -- store-made Italian sausage, DiGiorno Pizza and California-grown iceberg lettuce for 99 cents a head (24 size), a price cut of 50 cents, with a store card.

Limit is 1, but before you rush out the door, the sale doesn't start until Sunday, April 3. 

Does anybody still eat iceberg lettuce? Isn't it just cheap filler used by restaurants in salads or put on the plate as decoration to hold tuna salad?

I can't remember the last time I ate iceberg. During road trips in the 1960s and 1970s, my older brother used to walk into diners and loudly demand "hearts of lettuce," meaning the best part of the iceberg, if that's even possible.

Romaine lettuce (Lactuca sativa var. longifolia).Image via Wikipedia
Romaine lettuce goes green.

Romaine lettuce is far better, but for my money, I prefer Earthbound Farms organic spring mix from Costco in Hackensack, where one pound of this delicious, multicolored salad was $4.39 on Thursday.

The price for the pre-washed salad fluctuates, and has been as high $4.99, but that's $2 less than ShopRite and other supermarkets. A one-pound package yields seven medium-size or five large salads, and the mix makes a great sandwich stuffer.

If you insist on iceberg or romaine lettuce, I am sure you can do far better than ShopRite on price for that item and others at Brothers Produce on East Railway Avenue in the Paterson Farmers' Market.
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  1. Thanks for the heads-up, no pun intended, I'm gonna head straight to ShopRite (they have them in Connecticut). I love iceberg lettuce, but 99 cents is my price point, maybe a buck-forty nine on occasion. Believe it or not, many high class restaurants charge a pretty penny for a "heart of lettuce" salad which is really just two chunks from the middle of an iceberg lettuce. A 99 cent head of iceberg from the ShopRite on River Street, slathered with a couple of purloined packets of bleu cheese dressing from a salad bar, made for many a meal during the throes of my two years and five months of unemployment.
    When I was a mere sapling of a youth one of my favorite toys was Mister Iceberg Lettuce Head. Try affixing a false nose, ears, eyes and a pair of glasses to a head of romaine and you'd have something that looked like a refugee from the movie "The Vegan From Another Planet."
    Give me a head of iceberg anytime instead of a few of those wussy leaves of baby spinach they put on sandwiches at Subway to make them look expensive, or a bag of spring mix where you need a microscope to find the radicchio.
    Besides, do you know how iceberg lettuce got its name? It was being served in the dining room of the Titanic ... oh, wait a second, that's the steerage menu I'm looking at. Never mind.

  2. I'm glad to see you haven't lost your sense of humor.

    How did iceberg lettuce get its name, do you know?

  3. That is funny about your brother and the hearts of iceberg, that is exactly what I was raised to think about iceberg (the center is the best), must be a Syrian thing.

  4. Could be. He has such a loud voice, especially in public, I wouldn't know where to hide. "Hearts of lettuce!" I want "Hearts of lettuce."


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