Sunday, January 22, 2006

Lactuca Sativa

I harvested the last of my garden's lettuce the other night, thankful that the mild Bay Area could bring me crispy salad in the middle of winter. Not that it makes a load of difference in my ghetto garden, but according to some sources California is the lettuce capital of the United States. I have a hunch that it's also the artichoke/garlic/take you pick of fruits and vegetables capital of the U.S. The lactuca part of its Latin namesake refers to the milky substance that you sometimes find in the crunchy parts of the veggie. This milky stuff is also what makes the lettuce a little bitter. And, just a hunch, may also be related to why the ancient Egyptians thought lettuce was a symbol of male virility.


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