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Market Outlook

Produce Express

Market Outlook - April 5, 2012

Looseleaf Lettuce

Looseleaf types lettuces are the principal variety used in Spring Mix and, when left in the field a little longer form individual heads and the growers can pack a box of 'Mixed Baby Lettuces'.

Mixed Baby Lettuces

mixed-baby-lettuceLettuces are generally divided into four categories: Crisphead, such as Iceberg; Butterheads; also called Bibb Lettuce; Cos or Romaine; and, Looseleaf. It is the Looseleaf varieties that are of interest this week as they are the principal components of Mixed Baby Lettuces. The leaves are more full flavored than head type lettuces, though more perishable. The leaves are often fully indented, like the Oakleaf types, or frilly, like Lolla Rossa. Mixed Baby Lettuces are usually packed four varieties per box, 6 heads each (24 count). The stems remained attached to the individual heads. The varieties differ by grower and time of the year. Mixed Baby Lettuces are visually appealing as the lettuces differ in size, shape and texture and make a dramatic presentation when plated.

Any of the following varieties may be used:

  • Red Oakleaf-Loose, indented leaves, deep reddish-purple color.
  • Green Oakleaf-A medium green version of the Red Oakleaf.
  • Lolla Rossa-Frilled leaves edged in ruby-brown to green.
  • Baby Red & Green Romaine-a small Romaine Heart with delicately crisp, deep green or red leaves.
  • Mache-Spoon shaped leaves attached to a common stem with buttery, velvety texture.

Sparrow Lane Vinegar

A great salad needs a great vinegar and a great vinegar starts with great wine. Produce Express carries an excellent variety of artisan vinegars from Napa Valley's Sparrow Lane. Available by the gallon.

  • White Wine-Slight golden color, smooth, crisp and clean. $13.75
  • Red Wine- Dark red color, robust and full bod-ied.$13.75
  • Cabernet-Ruby red color, lush and full bod-ied.$15.50
  • Champagne-Delicate, crisp and fresh, with the classic color of fine champagne. $14.75
  • Zinfandel-Deep red in color, old vine flavors with plenty of pepper and spice and slight port overtones. $16.50 
  • Apple Cider Fresh Sebastopol apples give this rich golden colored vinegar a crisp zing! $14.75 
  • Golden Balsamic-Honey colored with the slight floral tones of the sweet Muscat Grape. $17.75
  • Dark Balsamic Rich dark chestnut color with silky hints of caramel.$17.75 
  • D'Anjou Pear-Light yellow color with a luscious crisp pear flavor. $17.75 
  • Pear Raspberry-Dark rose color, with the taste of sweet pears and luscious raspberries. $17.75 
  • Mango-Sweet white wine married with the distinctive flavor of fresh mango. $00.00
  • Sherry-Deep caramel color with a smooth and assertive crisp deep oak flavor. $17.75