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Pirella lettuce is distinguished by its texture and coloring. It has tender succulent leaves that are tightly wound to a crisp blanched heart. The leaves at the base are white to green while the upper loosely crinkled part of the leaves evolve into glossy hues of burgundy. Pirella's flavor is smooth, rich and buttery with a slight mineral finish. Even at maturity, Pirella lettuce forms smaller than average sized lettuce heads, averaging no more than six inches in diameter.
Perella Lettuce is typically available year-round.
There are four lettuce type classifications: Head, Romaine, Loose Leaf and Butterhead. Pirella lettuce, AKA Rousette, is a Butterhead type. This distinction explains that each lettuce variety in the Butterhead family will form loose rosette-shaped heads and large, easily separated leaves that achieve a buttery quality in their texture. Pirella lettuce is known as a Limestone lettuce variety, which essentially is lettuce that was cultivated in limestone rich soils in Kentucky, hence its other name, the Kentucky Limestone.
Heads of Pirella Lettuce are the perfect size for a single serving salad. The leaves need very little to no manipulation to showcase their best attributes: texture and flavor. Simple accessory ingredients include light bodied and creamy dressings, fresh and aged cheeses, apples, berries, stone fruit and persimmons, herbs including basil, mint and tarragon, garlic, shallots, bacon, nuts, dried fruit and citrus.
Pirella lettuce is an Italian heirloom lettuce that thrives in the rolling red earthen clay soils where limestone is found. It is a cool season crop, as are most lettuce varieties (in excessive heat the leaves will bolt and flower). Pirella lettuce grows quickly and abundantly with minimal to sufficient irrigation, warm days and cool nights.