Romaine lettuce is also known as “Cos" lettuce as it was first named after the Greek island where it originated. It was the French who later renamed the lettuce romaine, the name by which it is widely known today.
Romaine lettuce has a large, upright, loaf-shaped head with long narrow stiff leaves that look coarse but are crisp, tender, and sweet. The outer leaves are dark green and are approximately 20-23 cm long with a distinctive rib that reaches to the tip. The inner leaves are greenish-yellow surrounding a succulent pale yellow to white colored heart.
Romaine Hearts are taken from romaine plants grown specifically for the purpose of packing romaine hearts. The outer romaine leaves are removed and only the inner most tender part of the romaine, the "heart", is packed for shipping. Romaine hearts are 18-23 cm long. Color can range from bleached-out white at the base with pale yellow further up the head, to more yellowish-green at the base with dark green colored tops, or more green color overall, depending on variety and season. The hearts can be cupped in at the top or more leafy and open, also depending on the season. Romaine hearts are 100% useable lettuce with no "outer leaf" to discard. They are succulent and sweet.
Leaf lettuce has crisp leaves loosely arranged on the stalk and do not form hearts or heads. There are many variations in the size, color and texture. The leaves can be smooth, curled, ruffled or oak-leaf shaped. The color, depending on variety, can be buttery yellow, green, red, reddish-bronze, or purplish in color. Butter leaf, green leaf and red leaf are the most popular varieties.
Romaine and leaf lettuce varieties are one of the very lowest calorie green-vegetables. 100 g of fresh greens provide just 15 calories. Some of the health benefits of these lettuces include lowering cholesterol levels, cancer control, sleep induction, anxiety control, lowering inflammation, and providing a supply of antioxidants.
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SW Desert includes Yuma Arizona and Coachella & Imperial Valleys in California