Lettuce varieties

Romaine, trocadero, iceberg, arugula, oak leaf, endive... Do you know the most common types and varieties of lettuce in salads?

fresh food

14 November 2018

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Ahh, lettuce! So beloved and revered, yet so often treated unjustly when, in fact, it is the essential element of any salad and one of the healthiest foods in our diet. A frequent error made is the choice of lettuce variety. Romana, trocadero, iceberg, arugula, oak leaf, escarole... For those who feel disorientated among all these names, let's review the most common varieties and those frequently used in salads. We will talk about their characteristics and properties, as well as the most appropriate combination of flavours to achieve delicious dishes.

Most common lettuce varieties

  • Romaine. Possibly the best known and most common in Spanish salads. Strong stem and long leaves, intense green colour. Its price is very reasonable and our palate is very accustomed to its flavour, which combines with any ingredient.
     
  • Trocadero. Also very common, but instead of being elongated, its shape resembles a flower (or a cabbage, if you like). This is a French variety, with thin leaves and soft texture, whose taste is more delicate and requires subtle dressings.
     
  • Escarole. Hard to see in summer, but you'll get tired of finding it in winter. Its toothed leaf and dark colour make it unmistakable. Its taste is distinctive, due to the bitterness, which decreases as one reaches the bud.
     
  • Oak leaf. From winter to summer, and spring, all are the optimal seasons for this type of lettuce. Its large, wavy green and brown (almost purple) leaves make it easy to see in the mézclum. Being sweeter, it combines well with fruit.



  • Iceberg. It has faithful followers, but also some detractors, since its taste is quite neutral. The texture, on the other hand, is crunchy due to the thickness of the leaves. It is a variety often found in sandwiches and rolls.

  • Rocket. Like a good Mediterranean lettuce, it reaches its maximum splendour during the summer. It is easy to distinguish, since it usually comes in loose leaves, which are elongated and serrated in shape. A little less bitter than the endive, it is good with all kinds of dressings.

  • Lamb's lettuce. Yes, the little ones. Since they have a fresh and herbaceous taste, they go well with strong flavours. The best known is the Tudela lamb’s lettuce.

  • Red chicory (or Radiccio). The intense colour is its most distinctive feature, as well as its white veins and rounded shape. As it has a strong, bitter and spicy taste, and is often mixed with other green lettuces. It is attributed with digestive properties.

Buy lettuce online

Who told you lettuce can't be bought online? The fresh produce section of the supermarket also lends itself to the online basket, so you can purchase all the above varieties (and a few more) in bags, trays, packaged and as they come. You can even opt for the range of ready-prepared salads.