bitter lettuce

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mark0912

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bitter lettuce
« on: July 17, 2010, 00:11 »
some of my lettuce has gone very bitter and when i cut the leaves there is a thick white sap

are they past eating?

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WirralWally

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Re: bitter lettuce
« Reply #1 on: July 17, 2010, 00:27 »
It is difficult (for me at least) to understand how any variety of lettuce can taste bitter.
Lettuce is, after all, mainly (95%) water (or milk)  :)

When you cut the leaves of a well formed fresh lettuce you should expect to find some milky sap.
The Latin name of lettuce is Lactuca; The name is derived from lac or lactis meaning milk'.

If its fresh, crisp and bright then it'll be ok.

However, too much heat or sunshine will cause lettuce to bolt (grow too rapidly) which will often cause it to taste bitter.
If that is what's happened to yours then sow some more now and trust for better luck next time.
« Last Edit: July 17, 2010, 00:33 by WirralWally »
The successes and failures of each year keep me motivated for the following year.

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mark0912

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Re: bitter lettuce
« Reply #2 on: July 17, 2010, 00:32 »
I was surprised when i tasted it. Last weekend they were lovely, sweet and fresh. Now they've suddenly gone really bitter - odd.

Might see if cooking helps if i cant find another solution

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Kristen

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Re: bitter lettuce
« Reply #3 on: July 17, 2010, 07:24 »
When I were a lad I was told never to cut Lettuce with a metal knife (including when preparing in the kitchen) as that made them bitter.

May have been complete tosh though ...

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Livinhope

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Re: bitter lettuce
« Reply #4 on: July 17, 2010, 11:11 »
When I were a lad I was told never to cut Lettuce with a metal knife (including when preparing in the kitchen) as that made them bitter.

May have been complete tosh though ...

Never heard that one but................ we always pull our lettuce, wash the earth off the roots and bag it to take home.  My belief(probably totally potty) is that while the root is on it may fool the lettuce into thinking it's still growing. :blink:

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kermit

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Re: bitter lettuce
« Reply #5 on: July 17, 2010, 11:52 »
Def sounds like bolting.  Have the leaves gone pointy?

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mark0912

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Re: bitter lettuce
« Reply #6 on: July 17, 2010, 18:26 »
Def sounds like bolting.  Have the leaves gone pointy?

one or two of the larger ones have but i've not eaten them because i didn't like the taste. The bitterness seems to fade after 24 hours in a very cold fridge and some olive oil and balsamic takes care of any remaining bitterness

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viettaclark

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Re: bitter lettuce
« Reply #7 on: July 18, 2010, 00:57 »
People pay loads for chicory because it IS bitter!!!

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Jonajo

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Re: bitter lettuce
« Reply #8 on: July 18, 2010, 18:37 »
might be bolting - or might be chicory. Or both.

A good way to revive bitter leaves (if bolted, for instance, and assuming they are not supposed to be bitter) is to wash in cold water, and put in the fridge for a couple of days. The bitterness reduces significantly. But if they have bolted and been left for ages then that remedy may not work.
"Set down the wine and the dice and perish the thought of tomorrow"

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sloworm

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Re: bitter lettuce
« Reply #9 on: July 18, 2010, 18:46 »
I was surprised when i tasted it. Last weekend they were lovely, sweet and fresh. Now they've suddenly gone really bitter - odd.

Might see if cooking helps if i cant find another solution

apparently cooked lettuce water is good for making you sleep !

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hamstergbert

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Re: bitter lettuce
« Reply #10 on: July 19, 2010, 14:16 »
bitter leaves (usually due to bolting in my blessed patch) are excellent shredded with the fingers in a layer between rice and curry, or wilted into summer casseroles etc.

For little gem etc should never use a metal knife, 'cos' me grannie used to tell me so.  (Mind you, as far as she was concerned round iceberg type lettuces were only fit for use as animal feed and had only been introduced by WW1 Belgian refugees in any case,  real English lettuces were of the cos persuasion)
The Dales - probably fingerprint marks where God's hand touched the world

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dig4victory

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Re: bitter lettuce
« Reply #11 on: July 19, 2010, 15:39 »
We continue to eat some lettuce (Red Salad Bowl) thats bolted and it's fine.  However, we cut a whole cos down leaving the root and a bit of stalk showing and they've started to grow leaves again - these ones are a bit bitter I must say.

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8doubles

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Re: bitter lettuce
« Reply #12 on: July 19, 2010, 16:08 »
I was surprised when i tasted it. Last weekend they were lovely, sweet and fresh. Now they've suddenly gone really bitter - odd.

Might see if cooking helps if i cant find another solution

I was very cynical about the idea of `lettuce soup' until i actually tried it.

 It tastes  much better than it sounds  :D

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Trillium

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Re: bitter lettuce
« Reply #13 on: July 19, 2010, 16:58 »
Heat really influences how soon lettuces change from sweet to bitter as they're really a cool weather crop. No amount of water will sort them out so if you can't eat them, throw them to the chickens or whatever and seed again.



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