Mediterranean basin. Many sources give its origin as the island of Kos in Greece.
It owes its name to the Romans and later to the monks who made it known outside of Italy.
The name Romaine is given to lettuces with large, usually spoon-shaped leaves with a large vein running down their center.
This is the oldest and best known of the "herbs" that were grown even by the ancient Egyptians. After gradually being developed in the Mediterranean basin, romaine was introduced into France by the Avignon popes and developed there from the 15th century onward.
Romaine lettuce has very long firm thick crisp leaves, relatively narrow, and usually evenly dark green with a large central vein with a pleasant crunch. There is also a so-called "red romaine" whose leaves are fringed with deep red.
The English have been enjoying this lettuce since Roman times. It was part of a typical English dinner of the 19th century, served between the roast and the dessert. Garnished with hardboiled egg, shallot, radish, cucumber and nasturtium blossoms, it was dressed with a simple vinaigrette (oil, white vinegar, chervil, tarragon, salt and pepper.)
Appetitive, analgesic, emollient. Contains lactucarium that has effects similar to those of opium. Because of its sedative properties, it is recommended for treating insomnia, intestinal spasms and palpitations. It is said that medieval monks ate large quantities of romaine to repress sexual desire and preserve their chastity.
Nutritional values per 100 g
Calories: 14; Water: 94.91 g; Carbohydrates: 2.37 g; Fat: 0.2 g; Protein: 1.62 g; Fiber: 1.7 g. Rich in calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, sodium, beta-carotene, vitamins A, B and C.
Romaine lettuce should be healthy looking, with very green, crisp, undamaged leaves. Choose young Romaine if possible, which is more tender.
Keeps for a relatively long time in the vegetable crisper of the refrigerator.
Run quickly under cold water; dry in a kitchen towel. Simply tear the leaves up into a bowl.
If it needs to be revitalized, add 1 tbsp. vinegar to the washing water; spin dry immediately.
This is a flavorful lettuce with subtle anise overtones.
Loves robust dressings and vinaigrettes.
A perfect companion for bacon, croutons, Parmesan and mustard.
The authentic Caesar Salad recipe
Hints & Tips