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The History of Lettuce

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Where does the name Lettuce come from
Lactuca sativa is the botanical name for common garden lettuce. The name is derived from the Latin word "lactis," meaning milk, since a milky white sap is found in the stems and thicker veins of lettuce plants.

Romaine Lettuce

According to "The Penguin Companion to Food", The long leafy lettuce, that is now known as Romaine got its name because it spread throughout Western Europe from the city of Rome, Where it was widely eaten. Caesar is said to have even had a statue erected for this lettuce due to its medicinal qualities helping with a sickness he had. (This may be a Perhaps the oldest lettuce in the world. Pictures in Egyptian tombs 5000 years old look similar to Romaine leaves.

The Emporer Augustus Caesar apparently erected a statue to of all things, Romaine Lettuce. This was for the medicinal value that it had back then that he attributed to his healing of a serious illness.

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Last updated April 20, 2008