Monday, February 9, 2009

Bibb lettuce or Limestone lettuce - A Kentucky original

In my opinion not enough Kentuckians realize that Bibb lettuce originated in Frankfort, KY . As a youth I lived near downtown Frankfort in a neighborhood called the Corner in Celebrities because so many famous people once lived there .

Major John Bibb , a veteran of the War of 1812 , lived on Wapping Street in what is currently known as the Bibb-Burnley House . He had a greenhouse in his backyard and it was there he developed and grew Bibb lettuce which was also called Limestone lettuce . This type of lettuce , which is type of oftbutterhead lettuce , thrived in the limestone rich soil of central Kentucky .

At one time Kentucky lead the nation in Bibb lettuce production. It fell somewhat out of favor with the rise of salad bars since its a tender and delicate leaf variety . Today much of the Bibb lettuce that is grown is grown hydroponically .

Bibb lettuce is better for you than iceberg lettuce being a better source of vitamins A & C , calcium, phosphorus, and potassium . It is best served with a mild vinaigrette . It was a standard item on the menu of the Maisonette in Cincinnati where it was called laitue de Kentucky .

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