Romaine lettuce


To listen to this post in French, click below″

My mother’s favourite kind of lettuce was romaine, like the one on the photo. She’d go to Deauville market and buy a couple of them, clean them up and serve some leaves on a dish. She didn’t prepare them with any dressing.
She said romaine was so crisp and tasty that it didn’t need anything to enhance its taste. She’d just dip a leaf into a bit of salt and would eat it like a radish with some bread and butter. Maybe she ate it in the Polish fashion…

The heart of the romaine

She always left the core of the romaine for the children. I must admit I found the leaves somewhat bitter. But I liked the core, which is called le coeur in French –the heart– and enjoyed the attention.
Much later, when my daughter was little, I too gave her the core of the lettuce, and she seemed to enjoy it too.

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17 thoughts on “Romaine lettuce

  1. Yes, we call the center part of the lettuce the “heart” too. You can buy hearts of romaine in the U.S., if I remember correctly, in a cellophane or plastic bag. Romaine lettuce is the main ingredient in a Caesar Salad, which has a dressing made with lemon juice, a raw egg, vinegar, Worcestershire Sauce, and grated parmesan cheese, and can also contain anchovies. That’s a little more complicated than your mother’s way of eating romaine, and very American I’d say. The first time I ever prepared a Caesar Salad for some French people they said they thought I had become an alchemist.

  2. @ Matt thanks! I usually record my Diving into the Past posts into French, but haven’t dived much into the past lately 😉
    @ Judy, I’ll have to try that!
    @ Kay, at least romaine is healthy ; so run!
    @ tut-tut, same for celery hearts here…
    @ ken, I thought of Caesar salad when writing the post, but then it wouldn’t have been DITP (diving into the past) 😉 Thanks for the recipe. I like it best without the anchovies.

  3. My mum would also give me the “heart” of the lettuce, and I always assumed that was why she’d call me “her little heart”… I found it so delicious, you see, that it seemed a suitable nickname for someone you liked a lot !

  4. Sometimes when we go to Costco and it is available we buy the big package of romaine lettuce for a price that is so cheap we cannot resist.

    I end up giving some away to relatives who get to enjoy our surplus. Even so, it is cheaper and so much better than the super market.

  5. a celery heart lover as some other commenters, now i’ll try romaine hearts. but will the lettuce here taste as delicious?

    as an aside, so sad to see your spam blocked statistics. there are too many idle people using computers…make love, not spam might be a new motto.

  6. I also love romaine lettuce, but also find it can be bitter.
    I had to smile, because I truly can’t ever recall my Polish grandmother eating lettuce. I’m not sure why, but she never served it.

  7. Hi, I live in Cameroon where it is hot most of the year. What sort of Romaine would grow here and not be bitter? I also like it crunchy, but what I have planted here not juicy and crunchy like in the US. Thanks for your help!

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