Region of Origin

Commodity:

Baby Head Lettuces

Description & Origin

Lettuces are a cool weather vegetable in the daisy, or sunflower, plant family. Their leaves are well-loved for their crisp-tender texture and mild, bitter-sweet flavor. Lettuces can be divided into several groups, based on their characteristics, the most common being loose-leaf lettuces, romaine lettuces, butterhead lettuces, and crisphead lettuces. Loose-leaf lettuces form leaves loosely arrange...

Health Benefits & Nutrition

While the nutrient value of lettuces varies by variety, all leafy salad vegetables are a source of vitamins and minerals such as vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, and potassium. Red varieties contain the antioxidant anthocyanin. In the ancient world, lettuces were associated with fertility and sound sleep.

Our Varieties

Baby Lettuce Little Gem Green

AKA: Green Sweet Gem

Description

Little gem lettuce is an old European heirloom that straddles the line between romaine and butterhead. Green little gem combines a buttery texture with the sweet, crisp flavor with hints of nuttiness. The leaves are savoyed with gentle wrinkles that give the leaf a voluminous presence. The outer leaves of this compact head are dark green, while those in the center remain blanched with a light-green to yellow color.

Variety Tips & Tricks

Little gem is the ideal stand-alone salad green. It’s savoyed leaves hold dressing incredibly well and stand up to early plating. Their sweet flavor is a crowd-pleaser, and their petite leaves make a lovely, lofty salad or sturdy lettuce cup.

Commercial Availability (Grown for the US Market)

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Baby Lettuce Little Gem Red

AKA: Red Sweet Gem

Description

Little gem lettuce is an old European heirloom that straddles the line between romaine and butterhead. Red little gem combines a buttery texture with the sweet, crisp flavor with a hint of bitterness. The leaves are lime green towards the stem and a rich red burgundy towards the leaf tip with some savoying that gives the leaves a characteristic wrinkled appearance.

Variety Tips & Tricks

Red little gem is an excellent salad green. It also makes a showy lettuce cup for serving small bites or gluten free dishes.

Commercial Availability (Grown for the US Market)

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Baby Lettuce Lollo Rossa

AKA: Red Coral

Description

Lollo rossa is a classic Italian variety of hardy loose-leaf lettuce with densely ruffled leaves that are light green at the base transitioning to a deep maroon color at the tips. They have a bold bitter and nutty flavor. Baby lollo rosa offers the same characteristics, but with a more tender leaf that can be plated whole, rather than torn or cut.

Variety Tips & Tricks

The frilly leaves of lollo rossa have the dual benefit of extra loft on the plate and a showy presentation. Their bold flavor and hardy leaves stand up well to bold dressings, particularly in fall and winter seasonal salads. They also make an exceptional garnish.

Commercial Availability (Grown for the US Market)

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Baby Lettuce Oak Green

Description

Baby green oak lettuce is a loose-leaf lettuce. Oak lettuce has roots in France as early as the 1800s. Baby green oak has deeply lobed leaves reminiscent of a slender oak leaf or rounded arugula leaf. The leaves are tender, but hardy. They have a vivid lime green color and a refreshing bitterness.

Variety Tips & Tricks

Oak leaf lettuces can be used on their own, but are also excellent in a blend. The heads keep for longer when kept intact until the day of plating.

Commercial Availability (Grown for the US Market)

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Baby Lettuce Oak Red

Description

Baby red oak lettuce is a loose-leaf lettuce. Oak lettuce has roots in France as early as the 1800s. Baby red oak has deeply lobed leaves reminiscent of a slender oak leaf or rounded arugula leaf. The leaves are tender, but hardy. The leaves of baby red oak are lime green at the base, quickly transitioning to a deep, glossy, cherry-red color.

Variety Tips & Tricks

The vivid color of baby red oak performs especially well livening up a salad blend. The heads keep for longer when kept intact until the day of plating.

Commercial Availability (Grown for the US Market)

Jan
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USA
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Baby Lettuce Romaine Green

AKA: Baby Green Cos

Description

Romaine lettuce is thought to have originated on the Greek island of Kos, off the coast of Turkey, while other theories point to Italy. It has become to dominant lettuce variety in the US market. Baby green romaine has a semi-compact, elongated head with petite, light green leaves and white ribs. They are harvested before a heart forms, so expect a looser head with distinct leaves, rather than a tightly packed core. They have the sweet-crisp flavor of romaine.

Variety Tips & Tricks

The petite, crispy leaves of baby green romaine are perfect for classic salads in need of a refreshing, mild crunch. Try halving heads and grilling for a smoky Caesar salad, or using individual leaves as serving vessels.

Commercial Availability (Grown for the US Market)

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Baby Lettuce Romaine Red

Description

Romaine lettuce is thought to have originated on the Greek island of Kos, off the coast of Turkey, while other theories point to Italy. It has become to dominant lettuce variety in the US market. Baby red romaine has slender, torpedo-shaped leaves that transition from creamy yellow at the bottom to glossy burgundy at the top. Sturdy leaves are crispy and mild, but with an extra burst of bitterness not found in green romaine.

Variety Tips & Tricks

Baby red romaine is ideal for garnish or salads where a deep red color is preferred. Their bitter edge pairs well with rich dressings.

Commercial Availability (Grown for the US Market)

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Foodservice Tips

Traditional Culinary Uses

Lettuces have been used as salad greens since the times of Ancient Rome and Greece. Baby lettuces are particularly valuable in today’s culinary landscape thanks to their tender texture, petite size, and consistency. These little lettuces can be used in salads, on sandwiches, or as garnish. Some varieties can even be halved and grilled. Their diminutive size makes prep a breeze (no cutting necessary), and allows for creative, eye-catching plating with the leaf shape intact.

Flavor Pairings

Radish, Cucumber, Tomato, Beet, Fennel, Lemon, Lime, Shallot, Olive Oil, Vinegar, Blue Cheese, Goat Cheese, Chicken, Beef, Seafood

How to Prepare

Baby lettuces should be washed before use. Heads can be served whole, halved, or with leaves separated from the central stem.

How to Store in the Kitchen

Store refrigerated in the original packaging, well-sealed to maintain moisture, and use as soon as possible. To extend the shelf life, wrap each head in a damp towel within the bag. Ensure adequate spacing – do not crush or stuff baby lettuces to prevent bruising that leads to decay. Do not store in an area of the refrigerator prone to freezing.

Fight Food Waste Tips for root to stem cooking

It is very difficult to preserve lettuce or use once it shows signs of decay. Use as soon as possible!

Warehouse Storage & Handling

Maintain these conditions for optimal short-term storage shelf life.*

IDEAL STORAGE TEMP:

32°F

TEMP STORAGE ZONE:

32-39°F (Cold Storage)

SUBJECT TO CHILLING INJURY:

No – Store as close to 32°F as possible without going under. Lettuces are very susceptible to freezing injury if exposed to temperatures at all below freezing.

RELATIVE HUMIDITY:

>95%

PRODUCES ETHYLENE:

Yes-Low

SENSITIVE TO ETHYLENE:

Yes-High

ETHYLENE RECOMMENDATIONS:

Lettuces are very sensitive to ethylene. Ethylene can cause russet spotting, which is a cosmetic disorder that makes the lettuce unmarketable.

Quality Assessment

Lettuce heads should be crisp and turgid with bright color. Baby lettuces are less likely to have very tight, well-formed heads.

Important Handling

Lettuces should be kept away from any ethylene producing items in storage or transport. Ensure lettuces are consistently stored as close to 32°F as possible without going under. Exposure to higher temperatures in storage or transport can worsen issues such as pink rib.

Optimum Shelf Life

Depending on variety, conditions at harvest, and handling, baby lettuces may last up to 2 weeks.

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