Butterhead lettuce – Jäävuorisalaatti
Lactuca Sativa var. capitata
Butterhead lettuce, also known in the UK as round lettuce, is a traditional outdoor salad. It develops into a large round head sometimes up to 25 cm across that is full of neatly layered smooth soft leaves that have a creamy sweet flavour. They can be harvested when young or later when the heart is full and firmer. A fantastic productive salad that today is only produced as an inferior much smaller fast grown greenhouse version.
Butterheads take 50-60 days to grow, and in ideal summer conditions usually succeed well, in warm damp weather they can suffer from fungal(mildew) problems that meant in the ´olden days` they were chemically sprayed, this is now forbidden. Some varieties are more tolerant to mildew than others, a further difficulty is the tendency for these lettuces to collect soil and sand at the base of the leaves. This is due to rain and irrigation causing soil splash and wind blowing of soil dust. The salads grown on mulching are cleaner but will still need washing. Todays customers have become used to clean greenhouse grown salads and seem unprepared for this extra work.
Butterheads are maybe one the best productive and general use lettuces. They are unfortunately out of fashion today but have the potential to make a comeback.