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In Defense of Iceberg Lettuce

Yes, we know it's less nutritionally dense than other leafy greens. That's all well and good, but you can't deny the addicting, satisfyingly sweet crunch of the famed lettuce. Here's our take on the most underrated lettuce.

Darrick Zoolander said it best, "Moisture is the essence of wetness", and that much is true for iceberg lettuce.

Coming in at about 96% water, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, there isn't as much room for other nutrients.

So is Iceberg Lettuce less healthy than it's leafy friends? Sure.

But that doesn't mean it's not a dynamic, delicious and texturally superior lettuce.

Nutritionists can leave the chat if they want to, but you can't deny the addicting, satisfyingly sweet crunch of the famed lettuce.

Going Viral

The irony of the Iceberg slander is that Iceberg-based salads have dominated menus since the 1930s.

Although the famous Chop or Chopped Salad is said to originate in the 1950s from the need for an easier-to-eat healthy option for Los Angeles’s royalty at Jean Leon’s La Scala Restaurant, they admit they are not the first to “chop up a salad”.

Gillian Ferguson’s 2017 article for Bon Appetit delves into the how the salad became a celebrity obsession.

“Natalie Wood is often credited with first having the idea to chop the restaurant’s “gourmet salad.” It’s an apocryphal story that drives Jean’s daughter Gigi Leon crazy. The reality, she says, is that “people were wearing evening gowns and tuxedos and complaining that the salad was messy and hard to eat, so my dad and the chef thought, why don’t we chop it?” It was a practical solution to a one percenter’s problem, and, while it may not have been the first salad to be diced to death, La Scala was the first to ink the words “chopped salad” on a restaurant’s menu. They still serve about 400 chops a day.”

Pre-dating the Chopped Salad but also originating in Hollywood is the Cobb Salad. Hitting tables in the 1930’s, the brunoised blend of beets, iceberg, avocado, tomato, egg and occasionally cheese was said to originate at the Brown Derby Restaurant.

Today in 2023, variations of Chopped and Cobb salads are mainstream in their celebrity interview mentions or viral Tik Tok trends.

If you haven't seen Baked By Melissa's viral Iceberg Garlic Girl Salad, you're missing out on a seriously refreshing salad. Just look at the top comments, boasting around 11,000 likes.

The people love iceberg.

Iceberg in Action

Jennifer Anniston recently shared her love for Cobb salads in an Allure interview - while reminding everyone the lettuce is lower in nutrients. We get it, Jennifer.

A perfect example of Iceberg elevated is Hitchcock Farm's Baby Iceberg Lettuce, in stock at 1932 Specialty Produce.

"Don’t let their compact size fool you. Each baby iceberg  head is a mature, crisp and delicious bundle of culinary possibilities. Three years of research and development resulted in our proprietary seed, which consistently yields a softball sized head of lettuce. Its thick walled, broad leaves maintain its signature crunch and structure, while providing excellent shelf life. Great for bowls, buns, wraps, wedges and more!" 

Perhaps a close second is the labor-friendly Wedge Salad that can be dressed up to accommodate trends, seasonal ingredients and flavor profiles.

Need a gluten-free bun? Try a lettuce wrap. Iceberg is sturdy enough to make the substitute enjoyable and satisfying. Red Robin has been offering this as an option for years with great success.

Speaking of Lettuce Wraps, there was a time when P.F. Chang’s Lettuce wraps were the talk of the town. The simplicity, shareability and texturally balanced dish was going viral before going viral was a thing.

Iceberg is classy enough for Hollywood and satisfying enough to take center stage on any menu.

Ask your SavalSales Rep about our stocked Iceberg options, especially the mini-Iceberg from Hitchcock Farms.

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