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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Rave Review: "Artisan" Lettuce

OK, first off—we don't much care for the term "artisan," which is to this century what "gourmet" was to the 1970s and likewise is indiscriminately applied to everything from mass-produced bread to gummy Costco cheeses. Nonetheless, the sudden appearance of "artisan" lettuce, as it is obnoxiously labeled, in our local stores and, yes, Costco, has dramatically improved our salads.

Our longtime problem with pre-mixed salads is the high spoilage rate: the mixture of lettuce varieties always means that some leaves decay before others, forcing us to either pick out the slimy deadbeats from the remaining crisp leaves or toss the whole package, an act we find unacceptably wasteful. Still, because these packages are often economical despite the spoilage, we've continued to buy them.

But a few months ago, packages of "artisan"—sorry for the quotes, but this term really grates—lettuces began to appear in our local supermarkets: tight-packed whole heads of red and green varieties. Not only did these cost less than the typical mesclun mix, they had a much longer shelf life.

Last night we apprehensively opened a two-week old box with one remaining head, which had been neglected on the back of a refrigerator shelf. Astonishingly, the lettuce was crisp and entirely usable.

A one-pound box of lettuces runs less than $4 at Costco.


  1. Cool review and good to know...what makes it "artisanal?"

  2. We have no idea -- it just sounded good, we guess!

  3. We love the Artisan lettuce as well. We get ours from Costco. It's cheap & does last like you say!
    The 'artisanal' is because it's 'fancy' lol.

  4. We love it.We find it at ALDI supermarket.

  5. Thanks! I too buy the big box of "mixed greens" - and I always eyeball the 'artisan' lettuce with suspicion...I may give it a shot! Much appreciated!

  6. I love it. I purchase it at ALDI. It keeps fresh much longer than the bags of lettece I was always tossing out after a day or two.

  7. I buy the Antle & Tanimura artisan lettuce at Aldi, it is wonderful for salads. It does last a bit longer than the regular heads I buy at Shoprite and other stores. "Artisan" in this case means that it is produced in small quantities, at least that's my take on it.
    Anyway, anyone who has been reluctant to try it should give it a go. It's usually 1.99 for the whole "shell", but sometimes it's on sale, even for as low as 1.29, which it was the other day, so I bought 2!!!!!!

  8. I decided that after eating this extraordinary lettuce for a few weeks to look it up on the internet. Believe it or not, there has been a run on it at my local 99 cent store which has an awesome produce dept. Every week I purchase 2 or 3 and just hope it will still be stocked the next week! I've been enjoying it at the incredible price of $1/clamshell for a few weeks now.

  9. Never thought of looking at the 99-cent store for a food item like this. That's a great deal — a quarter apiece for four heads.