Walter Mencken 9:23 a.m., Oct. 10
Lettuce All Say Adios to Green Waste
Typically, I write about restaurants, but today’s post is focused on the home kitchen. I recently happened upon a grocery store purchase of such worth that I feel compelled to break away from my normal beat.
Not a day goes by when my refrigerator isn’t stocked with a variety of lettuces. Being a food writer who consumes way too many calories out on the town, salads are my friend. They’re healthy and easy to prepare. The only knock I have is, even when properly stored, lettuces have a short shelf life. Translation: I spend a lot of money on greens, a significant portion of which wilt and deteriorate into a slimy mess before I can utilize them.
Recently, I gave a brand called OrganicGirl a try. I must disclose that I was notified of its existence by a PR rep waxing complimentary about the virtues of the company’s product. Suspecting the organic lettuces would likely end up being only as good (or maybe worse) than any of the other dozens of lettuces I’ve picked up at grocery stores, farmers markets, and friends’ backyard gardens, I gave it a whirl.
The romaine I tried first had great crispness and clean flavor. The next night, I test-drove a mix of arugula, spinach, red and green chard. It was tasty. Still, not the kind of thing that was worthy of broadcasting to the masses. It wasn’t until over a week later, when I had a night off from my long-running attempt to eat up my entire hometown, that I opened the fridge for salad fixings and discovered that the OrganicGirl lettuces—all of them—were not only not dead, but almost the same as the day I’d first opened them.
The romaine still had snap and the plastic container holding the mixed greens was bone dry. That mélange was still light and as flavorsome as before. Frankly, I was shocked as this was a phenomenon theretofore unseen in my kitchen. I’ve since continued to purchase OrganicGirl at Ralph’s and been satisfied each time out. I don’t know what makes these lettuces so sturdy, but if you’re as tired of dumping out not-so-green greens, this is a good way to go.