Fresh, soft and healthy. Discover the nutritional values of lamb's lettuce, its main characteristics and more about its unusual name. Read the article.
Lamb's lettuce, formentino or songino?
Before we look at the nutritional properties of this baby leaf salad, let’s take a moment to clarify its name.
Lamb’s lettuce is a baby leaf salad belonging to the Valerianaceae family, genus Valerianella, and locust species. There are several varieties that share the same nutritional values and are all classified under the same name. Which? This depends on the area in which they are grown and sold.
This baby leaf salad has been give many different names on the market. In Northern and Central Italy it is mainly referred to as lamb’s lettuce, or valerianella, an Italian version of the Latin name, while in other areas it is called songino, or soncino, a name of Greek origin that refers to the soft and delicate texture of the leaves.
In Canton Ticino it is called Formentino or Nüsslisalat, which in German means “walnut salad”, and refers to the particular taste of this baby leaf salad.
In northern Europe, on the other hand, many countries call it “Rapunzel” because in the fairytale written by the Grimm Brothers, it is the salad that is mentioned at the beginning of the famous story Rapunzel.
Why is it considered a winter salad?
Lamb’s lettuce is considered a winter salad because it resists in frosty conditions and, in the past, was mainly grown from September to April, when the other baby leaf salads could not withstand the low temperatures. Today, however, it can be produced all year round, thanks also to improvements in cultivation and varietal selection techniques. Its delicate taste and its refreshing effects make it the perfect ingredient for summer salads!
Whether you call it by its Latin name or any other of its nicknames earned over time, lamb’s lettuce maintains the same excellent nutritional values:
- It is rich in vitamins, folic acid, calcium and sodium.
- It has refreshing and digestive properties, stimulates the activity of the intestine and kidneys, and promotes diuresis.
- Like the other baby leaf salads it is low in calories: just 21 Kcal per 100 g.
Its sweet and balanced taste allows it to be mixed with other baby leaf salads or meat and fish dishes, turning it into the must have salad for every kitchen, both in winter and summer.
Do you want to know more about our production of lamb’s lettuce?
Quality Assurance Manager
I put food safety first and I assure compliance of the OP Isola Verde production processes with all relative quality standards.
I believe that quality is neither a cost nor a hindrance for business development, on the contrary, I consider it to be a preventive investment that guarantees our customers superior quality baby leaf salads, certified according to international standards.