Known for its mild flavor and firm, crunchy texture, iceberg lettuce is great for salads, shredded in snacks, as a garnish and on sandwiches. Like romaine, green, butter and red leaf lettuces, iceberg is a member of the asteraceae family and is actually related to the daisy. Often thought to be lacking in nutrient content, iceberg is a good source of vitamin K and has folate. It holds up well in storage and can be less expensive than other types of lettuce. It’s also the star of one of the greatest salads of all time – the Wedge.
- Iceberg provides a:
- Good source of vitamin K
Iceberg lettuce is still in the #1 spot in terms of volume produced in the U.S., just beating out romaine. In California, over 80,000 acres are planted and a whopping 1.6 million tons are harvested each year. This lettuce is typically harvested by hand. Hand harvesting is performed using a special long bladed knife with an angled cutting edge. Blades are frequently placed in buckets of sanitizing solution throughout the day. If the heads are being packed for sale directly to the consumer, harvest crews will remove the outer ‘wrapper’ leaves and the heads are inserted in a plastic bag and then placed on a table where a packer seals the plastic bag and places the heads in a carton. Head lettuce is frequently field-packed into cartons for shipping. If the heads are going on for further processing, say for mixed salad, the lettuce heads may be cored in the field or stacked in bins for transport to a processing facility where they are cored, trimmed, washed, and precut into various sizes for market.
This classic and versatile green works as a salad base or a burger or sandwich topper