Lettuce varieties are vast, from the crispy Iceberg and the frilly Lollo Rosso to the buttery Boston and the elongated Romaine. Each variety has its texture, taste, and preferred culinary application. While lettuce is mostly water, it also provides essential nutrients, including vitamin K, vitamin A, and folate.

In Alberta, the climate poses challenges for year-round outdoor cultivation. However, farmers employ various techniques, like using high tunnels, greenhouses, and cold frames, to extend the growing season. In recent years, hydroponic farming—a soil-less method of growing plants using mineral nutrient solutions in water—has gained popularity in Alberta, allowing for year-round lettuce cultivation in controlled environments.


Lettuce has ancient roots, with records of its cultivation dating back to ancient Egypt. It spread across Europe and later to the Americas, becoming a dietary staple in various cultures.

Alberta's agricultural history is rich, with grains traditionally dominating the landscape. But as the province's farming community grew and diversified, so did its crop repertoire, and lettuce found its place. Over the years, as consumers became more health-conscious and demand for fresh, local produce rose, Alberta's farmers responded. The province now boasts numerous local markets and farm-to-table initiatives, with Alberta-grown lettuce being a proud component.

Ways To Cook

While lettuce is commonly associated with salads, its versatility goes beyond:

  1. Salads: The most common use, where it's mixed with other veggies, proteins, and a dressing.
  2. Wraps: Large lettuce leaves, especially from varieties like Romaine, can be used as a low-carb wrap alternative.
  3. Grilled: Lettuce, particularly Romaine hearts, can be halved and briefly grilled for a smoky flavor.
  4. Stir-fries: In some cuisines, lettuce is briefly stir-fried, offering a wilted yet crunchy texture.
  5. Sandwiches & Burgers: Used as a fresh layer, adding crunch and freshness.
  6. Juices & Smoothies: For those looking for a green boost, lettuce can be blended into drinks.
  7. Soups: While less common, some cultures incorporate lettuce into brothy soups, especially toward the end of cooking to retain some crispness.

For those in Alberta and regions with similar climates, when buying local lettuce, it's good to remember that the freshness is unparalleled, given the short transit time from farm to table. Keeping lettuce refrigerated and consuming it shortly after purchase ensures it retains its crispness and nutritional value.

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