Friday, March 19, 2010

What Lettuce Type are You?

If I were Catholic, I would go to confession for this. But since I’m agnostic, I’ll tell a blog. Here goes: I judge a person by their choice of lettuce. I know. Big whoop. It’s not like I hacked someone up with a chainsaw and ate their liver with a nice chianti or something. But still, it’s admitting that I am judgmental about people and their salads to the point of being deeply shallow, not to mention, a curmudgeon. I am a shallowmudgeon.

This personality flaw started with my disdain for iceberg lettuce. Sure, I grew up on it, but I also grew out of it. And once I did, my palate never looked back. So I have come up with a top 10 lettuce hierarchy that labels lettuce eaters and their salads. From worst to best:

10. Iceberg
Icebergers are the Walmart shoppers of lettuce. Without pigmentation and comprised mostly of water, iceberg offers absolutely no nutritional value. Ignorant Icebergers proudly applaud themselves for eating a salad. And the real tragedy is that a bottle of Kraft Thousand Island dressing is never far away. Can you say phy-to-nu-tri-ent? I know you can say NAS-CAR. Waldorf Walmart Salad

9. Butter
Extremely style conscious, Butter eaters are the designer shoppers of lettuce. They like its dainty appearance, but don't care that it lacks substance. Like iceberg, butter lettuce is pale and short on phytonutrients. And apparently butter eaters are not concerned about their cholesterol either. Jimmy Chew Salad

8. Romaine
Romainians are the Costco shoppers of lettuce. While supposedly high in nutrients, romaine is a little predictable. The hearts get props for their crunch, but then so do Cheetos. Romainians need to go out of their comfort zones once in a while. A trip to Sam’s Club might be in order. Club Salad

7. Green Leaf
Green Leafers are the basic cable subscribers of lettuce. With a deeper color and a leaf that allows vinaigrette to easily adhere to, it's a good all-around lettuce, yet there isn’t enough color variety or bite to put Green Leafers up there with the premium channels. CNN Salad

6. Red Leaf
Red Leafers are the premium cable subscribers of lettuce. Since the dark red offers antioxidants and visual appeal, they have more to offer. Showtime Salad

5. Packaged Salad Mix
Packaged Salad Mixers are the Trader Joe’s shoppers of lettuce. Though they show both aesthetic and nutritional initiative, these lazy sophisticates are nonetheless buying a commercial product that contains unhealthy levels of bacteria and a large carbon footprint. Couch Potato Salad with Dijon Shallot Vinaigrette

4. Farmer’s Market Salad Mix
Farmer’s Market Salad Mixers are the Michael Pollans of lettuce. More eco-conscious than Packaged Salad Mixers, they are to be applauded for their good taste and ethical eating standards. But unless they assemble the varieties themselves, they are still a notch away from being salad gods. Green Salad

3. Red Oak
Red Oakies are the Martha Stewarts of lettuce. With its ornate variegated design, rich colors and textural diversity, red oak is both nutritionally and aesthetically savvy. Red Oakies are culinary prima donnas who wouldn't be caught dead buying lettuce in a grocery store. Hamptons Salad

2. Arugula
Arugulars are the Dennis Kuciniches of lettuce. They are nutritional truthseekers who are unwilling to compromise (except when being strong-armed on health care). When their bodies tell them they need potent, peppery greens, these purists oblige with gospel-like fervor. Raw Salad

1. Tailor-Made Salad Mix
Tailor-Made Salad Mixers are the Alice Waters of lettuce. Buying their own individual heads of frisee, endive, lollo rossa, mache, mizuna, radicchio, tat soi and others on this list, they are truly accomplished saladeers. And if they grow their own in a sustainable, gastronomically correct way, they are salad gods. But who has 40 acres and a walk-in refrigerator? Chef Salad

What lettuce type are you?


  1. Haha, I'm a Showtime Salad...though sometimes a CNN or a Costco (no money = less extravagant green!). Though when my mama's doing the shopping, I am Green Salad all the way!

  2. Don't know what I am - I grow a Winter Mix lettuce from Nov - May and a summer mix from June to Oct. And I let some of each go to seed and self sow.

  3. Be proud! You are #1: Tailor-Made Salad Mixer = Chef Salad.

  4. Wow, I thought I was the only one secretly judging Iceberg eaters.
    I grow my own Arugula. What does that make me?
    BTW; has anyone ever told you that you look like Natalie Wood?

  5. Silvina, you are a Tailor-Made/Homegrown Arugular. While you are the purest of the pure, since it's only one kind of lettuce, I guess it's a Raw Sous Chef Salad. ;

  6. I just popped over from Christie's Corner and so glad I did. What a wonderful blog you have here!

    I enjoyed the hell out of your salad personality post. I have a deep, abiding disdain for iceberg lettuce, so you had me at the get go.

    Love your blog.


    Showtime Salad/Hamptons Salad Diva

  7. I go between numbers 1-4, depending on my mood. What does that make me? ;) I see that you will be at Camp Blogaway, too. I hope you bring your great sense of humor with you so we can laugh lots! See you in May!

  8. Thanks for stopping by, Diva!

    You too, Bunky, and see you at camp. I'll bring the humor if I remember to pack it!

  9. Of the day to day grocery store variety I am red leaf. I have grown to HATE the insipid limp leaves of the Alice Waters Style of "Spring Mix". It used to be good, but ever since they bagged it in that weird de-oxygenated cellophane I can't stomach it. So, really when I want a salad that bites me back I choose bitter greens. When they are not always available. So I go a for a retro wedge salad in those cases, with a nice chunk of iceberg lettuce. Iceberg has flavor and texture. We forgot that in these past few decades, top it with a creamy retro style blue cheese or buttermilk dressing and I can see my mothers pretty face in front of me saying. "Eat your salad, honey, it's good for you". GREG

  10. Greg, it took chutzpah to admit you like iceberg on this blog : )

  11. red leaf, but only because i'm superficial

  12. i avoid iceberg and bags...otherwise i'm a nomad on the leafy green front...what does that tell you about someone's personality? can't commit? ADHD? or variety-is-the-spice-of-life kinda gal?

  13. I think it's the variety-is-the-spice-of-life gal without her Ritalin.

  14. OMG too funny! I would be the bespoke tailor-made Salad Mix.

    Good point on the Walmart of salad -- iceberg, gross!

  15. Arugula will be showing up any day now at markets and I will eat as much of it as I can get. That said- I don't like to get snobby about iceberg. A big, heavy iceberg, chilled and sliced into juicy wedges and bathed in a homemade buttermilk dressing is a super treat. Don't demonize the poor lettuce. Blame the salad makers.

  16. Hello from a new reader and first time commenter (also a new name for a salad)--
    this is hilarious, well written!

    And me what kind of salad -- raw/Hamptons
    (do green pea shoots count)

  17. Welcome, Barbara. Just my kind of salad gal. : )