Americans consume about 30 pounds of lettuce a year. There are 87 varieties of lettuce. The darker green the leaves, the more nutritious.


Look for fresh, crisp leaves. Avoid limp, withered leaves that have brown or yellow edges, or dark or slimy spots.

Iceberg lettuce should be symmetrically shaped, compact, and firm, yet springy with its dark green outer leaves intact. The stem may look brown and should smell slightly sweet, not bitter.

Avoid overly large heads of romaine.

Refrigerate in the crisper. Iceberg should keep for up to two weeks, romaine for about 10 days, and boston for about four days. Leave a cellophane-wrapped head of iceberg lettuce in the wrapper.


Iceberg Lettuce:  Pale green lettuce forms a tight, cabbagelike
head. Texture is crisp and its flavor very mild.

Romaine Lettuce:  Long, deep green leaves that form a
loaf-shaped head. Crisp texture and an assertive, but not
bitter, taste.

Boston Lettuce:  Sometimes called Butterhead. Loose head
and grass green leaves. Soft “buttery” texture and a sweet,
mild flavor.

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