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What Is Butter Lettuce?

Alright, let’s dive into the world of butter lettuce!

Butter lettuce is one of the more popular types of lettuce at the grocery store these days. It is delicious and just looks beautiful on display at the grocery store.

But I know that I have gotten a bit confused about what exactly is butter lettuce? I hear different words, such as bibb lettuce and lettuce with roots. 

It can all get a bit confusing, but don’t frett. We are here to help you out. 

This is butter lettuce.

What Is Butter Lettuce?

Butter lettuce, also known as Boston or Bibb lettuce, is a lettuce that has large fluffy leaves; it is tender and has a buttery texture. Sometimes, the butter lettuce comes with the roots still attached, but not always. 

The story is that it has Mediterranean roots, which means that it likely originated in that area. It eventually became popular in Europe and eventually became popular here in the States in the 1950s

It’s known for its large, tender leaves that are round and loosely folded. The leaves tend to form in a cup shape, which makes them excellent for wraps. The color ranges from pale green at the base to a more vibrant green at the edges. The leaves are soft and smooth and, dare I say, buttery. 

Why Is It Called Butter Lettuce?

The name “butter lettuce” comes from its buttery texture and slightly sweet flavor. The leaves are soft and smooth, much like butter at room temperature, which makes it a delight to eat. 

The leaves have a melt-in-your-mouth texture, which makes the lettuce seem quite delicate in nature, much like butter. 

This is various dishes with butter lettuce.

Taste And Texture Of Butter Lettuce

Butter lettuce, aka Bibb lettuce, has a mild, sweet flavor and a buttery texture. The satin-like texture of the leaves means that it doesn’t get soggy like other types of lettuce. Butter lettuce has a delicate taste and doesn’t overpower a sandwich but does provide a slight crispness. 

This means that you can add dressing to a salad made with butter lettuce, and it won’t wilt as fast as other lettuce might.

The fact that butter lettuce can hold up longer than other lettuces makes it ideal for planning group meals. You can prep the salad and put it on the table, and it won’t get gross right away. 

I love using butter lettuce for salads and as a bread replacement. I think that it is a fantastic option for lettuce wraps. 

How To Use Butter Lettuce In Cooking

Butter lettuce is incredibly versatile in the kitchen. It’s commonly used in salads due to its tender texture and mild flavor. 

But it’s also great for wraps, as the leaves are large and flexible. You can even grill or sauté it for a warm side dish.

How To Store Butter Lettuce

To keep butter lettuce fresh, it’s best to store it in the refrigerator. Wrap it in a damp paper towel and place it in a plastic bag. This will help maintain its crispness and prevent it from wilting.

We have a full article about how to store butter lettuce with roots if you happen to have that kind. The most important tip that I can share about that is to store the lettuce with the roots until you are ready to eat it.

The bottom line

Butter lettuce is more than just a salad ingredient. Its unique characteristics – from its buttery texture and mild flavor to its versatility in cooking – make it a standout among lettuce varieties. It is one of my all-time favorite types of lettuce. When I can find it at the store, I always buy it.

This is butter lettuce.