As anyone who lives in Los Angeles will tell you, iceberg lettuce seems to be on the outs while kale still has a hold on the gourmet restaurant community.
For every trendy restaurant that serves avocado toast, there’s another that serves some sort of high-end kale salad with several expensive garnishes. Whole Foods even sells T-shirts with just the word “kale” on them.
A recent opinion piece from Bloomberg pointing out the shifting tides in the lettuce world, however, has brought out some serious opinions on the topic and it turns out there are still plenty of iceberg devotees.
The story, appropriately titled “America Has Lost Its Taste for Iceberg Lettuce,” argues that this year could be the year romaine and other leaf lettuce “finally surpasses that of head lettuce, which is mostly iceberg lettuce.”
That same article also says it might not…which is fair, given the state of the world in 2020, nothing really seems all that predictable anyway.
But opinion columnist Justin Fox forges ahead, pointing out kale is grown in every state in the country — yes, even Alaska.
We also can’t overlook other greens like spinach and romaine, which are also having a moment.
“Such greens are generally perceived as health foods; and, well, affluent people like to buy health foods (if not necessarily eat them),” Fox writes. “Maybe turnip greens will have their big moment next!”
As Americans can argue about everything, not everyone agrees the country has “lost its taste” for old-fashioned heads of lettuce. The divisive story earned some interesting responses on Twitter from both sides.
One person clapped back to the Bloomberg headline, writing people are done with the longtime fan favorite “Because iceberg lettuce is just crispy water.”
Because iceberg lettuce is just crispy water.
— Michelle Jackson (@MichLovesMoney) October 13, 2020
“I have been saying this for years,” @EastCoastDoc replied. “People always try to counter me with that wedge salad argument. Wedge salad is weird.”
But iceberg has a lifelong fan in celebrity chef David Chang of Netflix’s docuseries “Ugly Delicious.”
“Iceberg = (goat emoji) of lettuces,” he replied. “This opinion is wrong.”
“Iceberg lettuce is the color black. It can never go out of style,” he wrote in a series of tweets defending it. “Romaine lettuce is a Ponzi scheme.”
“F— kale,” he wrote, definitively.
He went on to say he would invest in iceberg lettuce.
“If you are selling iceberg stock I will buy it all day long. Because in 5 years people will write an article about how iceberg never went away,” he wrote. “Don’t believe the hype that’s iceberg is dying.”
It’s a sentiment we’ve heard from another Netflix film, “Always Be My Maybe.”
“Invest your money in lettuce. Kale can’t hold on forever,” actor James Saito quips in the comedy.
Speaking of kale, Fox’s piece also cites a piece that ran in The Atlantic last year by journalist Amanda Mull, which argued the slightly bitter leafy green “entered into the cultural lexicon” in the early 2010s “as a status symbol for a generation of young adults drawn to conspicuous health-consciousness,” but it wouldn’t have the staying power of iceberg for one obvious reason: it doesn’t taste all that good.