Sunday, July 08, 2007
League of Lettuce
It was Freddie who came up with the idea for a League of Lettuce. We were confronted with too much choice at the supermarket. “Let’s put them into divisions like in football”, he suggested. So this is how the Lettuce League Tables were established. There are four main lettuce types which sound like they have come straight out of the civil war: the Crisphead, the Butterhead, the Looseleaf and the Cos or Romaine. Each group shares characteristics in texture or taste. And within each group there are hundreds of varieties. Alex and Freddie picked the lettuce teams: Little Gem, Round, Batavia, Green Oak Leaf, Iceberg, Frisee, Romaine and Butterhead Red. We came home on the bus with bags stuffed full of lettuces. In the the eight months since starting the Vegetable Challenge, Freddie has been growing into the role of Taste Explorer: the Marco Polo of the vegetable world. But he has a blind spot with salad. He can't see the point of it.
Back at home and Alex and Freddie made team labels, arranged tasting plates and score sheets. Marks out of five were awarded for each lettuce based on taste and texture. Crunch was analysed, softness of leaf debated and flavour argued over.
And so after much deliberation the Raw Lettuce Table was announced. Little Gem was the winner, closely followed by the premier league of Round and Batavia. Freddie asked for the Butterhead Red to be relegated. What he hadn't realised was that he had unwittingly eaten a salad - without any need for bribes or subterfuge.