Romaine Lettuce


Romaine lettuce is a very practical leafy vegetable. This type of lettuce is a good combination of flavor and crunch. Very tolerant of heat, it has a longer shelf life compared to other types of lettuce. The common variety of romaine lettuce, green, is the preferred green for Caesar salad. Red romaine is more tender compared to its green cousin. The milky fluid found in the thick ribs of romaine lettuce gives the fine-bitter herb taste.


Other names: Cos Lettuce, Romaine
Translations: Romiešu salāti, Romaine Salotos, Salată Romaine, Romaine zelena salata, Rau diếp Romaine, Sałaty rzymskiej, Bindsla, Romaine लेटिष, Romaine alface, Салат ромэн, Romaine Μαρούλι, رومان الخس, 로메인 상추, Římský salát, Selada Romaine, Romaine litsugas, 生菜, Enciam Romana, Romaine solata, Rímsky šalát, Lattuga romana, Romaine חסה, Romansallad, Ромаине салата, ロメインレタス, Laitue romaine, Romanasalat, Romaine Salat, Romaine Salat, Lechuga Romana, Салат ромен, Romaine, Romaine маруля

Physical Description

Also known as Cos, this variety of head forming lettuce has deep green, long leaves with a crisp texture and deep taste. There is also a milder tasting variety with red tipped leaves and a sweet romaine, which is even sweeter than regular romaine.

Colors: Deep Green

Tasting Notes

Flavors: Bitter
Wine complements: Merlot, Pinot noir, Rose
Substitutes: Iceberg lettuce, Boston lettuce

Selecting and Buying

Choosing: Regardless of the type, all lettuces should feature crisp looking, unwilted leaves that are free of dark or slimy spots. In addition, the leaves' edges should be free of brown or yellow discoloration.
Procuring: Romaine lettuce grows in a long head of sturdy leaves which have a firm rib down their centers. These thick ribs, especially on the older outer leaves, have a milky fluid which is unpleasant, so they should not be used, nor should the leaf-tips, which can be bitter.

Preparation and Use

Matches well with: anchovies, blue cheese, chives, garlic, lemon, olive oil, Parmesan cheese, pepper

Cleaning: Romaine and leaf lettuce should be washed and dried before storing in the refrigerator to remove their excess moisture, while Boston lettuce need not be washed before storing.

Conserving and Storing

A salad spinner can be very helpful in the drying of lettuce (and other salad ingredients as well). These lettuces should be either stored in a plastic bag or wrapped in a damp cloth and stored in the refrigerator crisper.


Romaine lettuce may be used in the Passover Seder as a type of bitter herb, to symbolise the bitterness inflicted by the Egyptians while the Israelites were slaves in Egypt.

History: Native to the eastern Mediterranean region and western Asia, lettuce has a long and distinguished history. With depictions appearing in ancient Egyptian tombs, the cultivation of lettuce is thought to date back to at least 4500 BC. The ancient Greeks and Romans held lettuce in high regard both as a food and for its therapeutic medicinal properties.



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