Tuesday, October 12, 2010
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.