Monday, April 24, 2017

The Lettuce Dilemma

We now have a food crisis in the States, Thanks to the horrid drought season out in California, letuce is becoming not only scarce but expensive.This is also happening in Britain where even tomaotes are becoming rarer and rarer.There is definitely going to be a impact on how we shop and how we eat? What can be done?

The shortage has been going on for a couple of months now, since mid-February. Many home chefs have seen it with the expensive price tags on ordinary heads.A head of iceberg lettuce is a whopping  $6.00 while romaine fetches as high as $8.00. Prices have quadrupled since the bad growing season (which can easily be blamed on global warming) in California, which has gone from severe drought to severe flooding. The wild weather swings naturally would impact lettuce's growing season along with the growing seasons of   other crops such as cauliflower and broccoli.There is now talk of an upcoming peach shortage too, thanks to a cold snap that affected  peach orchards and newly  flowering trees.Luckily the Spring planting is just starting here in New Jersey and other Eastern Seaboard states. That means locally grown greens , veggies and fruits will be ready  - and better priced in the upcoming months.

What to do in the interim, though? You can still have salad but think other veggies kale is one of the few greens that is still affordable. Use it instead of iceberg or romaine .It makes an excellent Caesar salad. Add any chicken or shrimp to turn it into a main dish. Tomato are relatively cheap now, especially the vine ripes and grape varieties. Slice them up, add chopped cilantro and garlic along with olive oil and it's a nice starter or side to chicken or steak. Onions are also inexpensive . An onion salad is another idea  is grilling them and drenching them in a vinaigrette. You can even add crispy bacon to it for some color and crunch.Fresh peppers make an excellent salad base as well. Again  use them fresh or grilled for a technicolor greens dish. Use  red, green,and yellow ones along with corn niblets for a variety of fiesta salad.Peppers and tomatoes blend together well too. Try a bell pepper and grape tomato one. with a zingy dressing.

Yes, we're in the middle of lettuce crises. Don;t be bothered by it/ They 're plenty of sub ins that you can use until the local crops start springing up.

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