With the new varieties and the use of hydroponics and greenhouses, lettuces are now available all year round.
Storage and Handling
Store in the refrigerator, try not to squash the leaves. Handle all fresh produce with care and wash before eating.
Lettuce is one of the oldest known vegetables – dating back to the ancient Greeks. Lettuce originated in the Mediterranean area and was first introduced to the USA by Columbus in 1442.
- Lettuce is a member of the daisy and thistle family
- Varieties can be totally green to multi-coloured, leafy and crisp to dense and firm, mild and subtle to piquant and intense – there are literally hundreds of lettuce combinations of taste, variety, texture and nutrition :
- Iceberg: sometimes called ‘normal’, ‘crisphead’ or ‘standard’ lettuce
- Butterhead or buttercrunch: a green lettuce with loose leaves
- Red oak, Red salad bowl, Red sails, Green oak and Green salad bowl: these are loose leaf lettuces and have no heart
- Green coral, Green frill, Lollo bionda, Red coral, Red frill, Lollo rossa: these are very similar lettuces. All have attractive crinkly leaves that stand up on a plate
- Cos: old-fashioned winter lettuce that is also known as Romaine. It has an elongated head with coarse leaves that are crunchy and sharp in flavour
- Endive: the endive is often classed as a lettuce but is actually from the celery family. There are two main types, curly endive and fine leaf. They have a slightly bitter flavour
- Besides lettuce there is a vast array of other leaves, often loosely termed ‘salad greens’. See Salad Greens
- Lettuce is easy to grow year round in most regions in New Zealand
- They require regular watering and some shade during the hottest months
Lettuce is a source of folate.
You will find the full Nutrition Information Panel on the New Zealand Food Composition Data website. This website is owned jointly by Plant & Food Research and the Manatū Hauora Ministry of Health. This website holds the most comprehensive collection of high-quality nutrient data for New Zealand foods. The Database is managed and maintained by dedicated Plant & Food Research staff.