A tender and tangy loose-leaf variety.
Tango lettuce History
Tango Lettuce is a fun curled baby leaf lettuce variety! This lettuce has a crisp clean texture and holds up well with numerous salad dressings. Tango is an oak leaf variety. A loose leaf variety of lettuce that appears to look somewhat similar to curly endive. With broad green leaves that begin growing very frilly edges, Tango Lettuce develops into a longer length leaves with darker green coloring especially around the outer edges which become slightly less crinkled in appearance as the Lettuce matures. Because of the frilly look, this Lettuce is an excellent choice for use in many different salads, cheese and meat trays, and festive looking sandwiches. The stalk and leaves of the Tango Lettuce are firm but tender, crisp textured and tangy flavored.
The Greeks learned how to grow lettuce from the Egyptians. They used it medicinally as a sedative and served it as a salad at the beginning of meals to help with digestion. The Greeks passed their lettuce-growing knowledge on to the Romans, who named the plant “lactuca,” meaning “milk,” for its white sap. In time, “lactuca” became the English word “lettuce,” while the Roman name was preserved in the genus name for lettuce and its relatives. Lettuce traveled with the Romans into Western Europe and east all the way to China, establishing itself at multiple points along its journey. When it reached Britain, women were afraid of eating too much of it, believing lettuce could cause barrenness if eaten in excess.
- Plant lettuce during the mild weather of early spring and fall. This nutritious, leafy green is a great option for in-ground gardening, raised garden beds, and containers.
- Space lettuce plants 6 to 18 inches apart (depending on the variety) in an area that gets an abundance of sun and has fertile, well-drained soil with a pH between 6.0 and 7.0.
- Improve native soil by mixing in several inches of aged compost or other rich organic matter.
- Well-hydrated lettuce will bear tender leaves, so keep moisture levels consistent by watering whenever the top inch of soil becomes dry.
- Prevent weeds and make your watering efforts last longer by applying a thick layer of mulch made from finely ground leaves or bark.
- Promote excellent leaf production by regularly feeding with a water-soluble plant food.
- Harvest leaf lettuce starting with the outermost leaves once they are large enough to eat.
Preserving And Storing Tango Lettuce
- Wash your lettuce, and remove any damaged leaves. Do this even if you bought bags of prewashed lettuce, since they’re known to carry E. coli.
- Dry your lettuce thoroughly. If you have a salad spinner, use it. It’ll remove the excess water without bruising the lettuce. If you don’t have one, gently pat the lettuce dry with a paper towel or dish towel.
- Wrap the lettuce in a dry paper towel and place it in a plastic bag or storage container. You can reuse the container it came in, as long as you wash it first.
- To maintain the proper temperature and moisture level, store your lettuce in the crisper drawer in your fridge.
- Replace the paper towel anytime it feels especially wet. This is the key to keeping your lettuce from getting slimy.
- Check your lettuce every day or two. Remove any leaves that are beginning to go bad. This will keep the rest of the lettuce from spoiling.
Saving Lettuce Seeds
Harvest the Seeds
Once the flower heads are fluffy and dry, it’s time to harvest the seeds.2 To do so, hold a paper or plastic bag near the plant and every day shake the flower head into the bag until most of the ripened seed is harvested. Another option is to wait until most of the seed heads look ready to harvest, remove the entire flower stalk, and shake it over a bucket or bag to dislodge any fully ripened seeds. Both methods will work, but the first method takes more time and effort and the second method yields fewer seeds because you pull the plant before all seeds are ripe.
Isolate the Seeds
After harvesting the seeds, go through them and remove the fluff and chaff to isolate the seeds: pour your seed onto a shallow dish or tray and gently run a fan nearby. The breeze from the fan will blow away unwanted materials. If you don’t want to use a fan, place the seeds and chaff in a bowl or saucer and blow on it gently.
Store the Seeds
Once you remove the chaff, place your seeds in a clean, dry plastic food storage bag or mason jar, seal it, label it, and store it in a cool, dry place. Lettuce seeds are particularly durable and, if stored correctly, can last as long as five years.
Tango lettuce Recipes
This Amazing Salad Recipe Is Like A Tango In You Mouth.. The Flavors Just Meld Together!
Lettuce Nutrition Facts
Due to its extremely low calorie content and high water volume, lettuce is actually a very nutritious food. Based on its nutrient richness, our food ranking system qualified it as an excellent source of vitamin A (notably through its concentration of the pro-vitamin A carotenoid, beta-carotene), vitamin K, folate, and molybdenum. Romaine lettuce also emerged from our ranking system as a very good source of dietary fiber, four minerals (manganese, potassium, copper, and iron), and three vitamins (biotin, vitamin B1, and vitamin C).
Other Lettuce Varieties Worth Checking Out