There are various types of Lettuce used for eating purposes worldwide. Out of those, Butterhead Lettuce is also the one. Its characteristic features are loose, round-shaped heads of tender, sweet leaves and a mild flavor. It is the green leaves of plants that are edible and eaten uncooked in salads. Other than that, it is also added to enhance the flavor and in cooking as well.
Like many other eatables, it gets damaged with time and as its shelf life is reached. Yes, it doesn’t go well and doesn’t stay fresh for long. Its spoilage is characterized by its wilting, moist texture, softness, rotten smell and at last, brown or black color is observable.
How to Store Butterhead Lettuce
Although the Lettuce may go bad, we will tell you how to ensure its freshness by following some steps. Let us have a look at that,
Wash and Refrigerate
Wash your Lettuce and remove the decaying leaves since they carry bacteria. Washing the Lettuce alone is not sufficient; you also have to dry them and refrigerate properly, or they will get damaged very soon.
You can store and preserve Lettuce unwashed in a closed plastic bag, loosely tied in the refrigerator to increase its shelf life or you can also store it by washing it thoroughly, drying, and then refrigerating it in a tightly sealed bag of plastic.
You may be wondering what’s the difference between the two methods of refrigeration. Keeping it unwashed in a plastic bag will increase its shelf life to about 2 to 3 days. Whereas washing, drying, and subsequent refrigeration cause it to be stored for up to a week.
Away from Sunlight
Do not place Butterhead lettuce in direct sunlight; it can spoil its leaves and turn its color to yellow from green. Direct sunlight can also deteriorate its odor and eventually spoil it completely. To protect it from bad-smelling, keep it in a shady place or away from direct sunlight exposure.
Keep it Dry
If you want the freshness and crunchiness of leaves for a long period, make sure that it is dry and place in an airtight container. The best place to keep it dry is to put it in the refrigerator.
Can You Freeze Butterhead Lettuce
Well, yes, you can freeze the butterhead lettuce. But keep in mind that it depends on your need or, more particularly, how and where you will use it.
If you have to use it for cooking and flavoring purposes, you may opt for freezing. For salads, you cannot freeze them as freezing causes ice crystals to appear in them.
Apart from that, it also depends on what Lettuce do you have. Usually, thicker lettuces like Romaine and Butterhead may be frozen, but its use will be limited because it loses its crispiness.
How Long Does Butterhead Lettuce Last
Leaf lettuces like Loose Leaves, Butterhead Lettuce normally last for a very short duration of about 5 to 10 days if kept in the fridge. If kept in the freezer, the shelf life can further increase up to a week. So, it is totally up to your choice.
If you do not take care of the Lettuce, it will turn into a damaged one, pretty much quicker, having decolored, moist texture and a rotten smell.
The shelf life of Butterhead Lettuce depends on different factors, like when it was purchased and how it was stored.
Unrefrigerated butterhead lettuce usually lasts long for about 2 hours at normal room temperature, but it can last for almost 1 hour if the temperature is hot. It depends on how long it should be placed outside of the refrigerator; if, for more than 2 hours, it should be kept refrigerated.
How To Tell If Butterhead Lettuce Is Bad
Your senses will serve as your most reliable assets to figure out if your Butterhead Lettuce has gone bad.
- Decolorization: You have to look if there is an indication of either any brown or black leaves. It first becomes limp, and then the color is changed from green to brown and eventually black.
- Bad Smell: You can use your smelling sense to check if it’s spoiled or not.
- Check for Texture: When dealing with lettuce bags, if the bags look moist or the texture gets swollen, throw it as enough bacteria has grown.
- Check Taste: The taste of Lettuce will also help you to figure out if it’s fine to bring into use or not.
To sum up, all for you, common traits that are observable in damaged Lettuce are its discoloration, a moist texture, and a rotten smell.