The Tender Type Of Lettuce That Can Hold Up A Wrap

A crisp leaf of lettuce will never be the same as a slice of doughy bread, but it has the power to add a whole new dimension to your handheld bite. Whether you're looking to cut carbs, trying to add more vegetables to your diet, or just craving a refreshing crunch to your meal, a lettuce wrap is an ideal vessel for whatever you choose to fill it with.

There seems to be an endless array of lettuces lining the shelves and farmer's market bins, and while they are all suitable for a salad bowl, some varieties can handle other tasks with gusto. Iceberg is always fit to take on the heavy ranch and fatty bacon of a wedge salad, while a head of romaine can flourish on the grill. Bok choy knows its way around a wok, and frisée loves a runny yolk. But which type of lettuce is the perfect size and texture for a handheld wrap?

Bibb lettuce is the perfect cup

Bibb lettuce is a type of butter lettuce, which also includes Boston lettuce, according to A Couple Cooks. It has nothing to do with butter — or bibs, for that matter. Butter lettuce is a family of leafy greens. They come in a small head with the roots still intact, similar in shape to a head of cauliflower or broccoli. You often see them in hard plastic containers to protect the delicate leaves. Boston lettuce is slightly larger than Bibb and has less-sturdy leaves that are not the ideal vehicle for any contents of a standard wrap.

Named after the Kentucky farmer who began harvesting the heads of lettuce in the 1800s, per Specialty Produce, Bibb lettuce is the perfect conduit for those wrap contents. The leaves are tender while the ribbing is thick, making them sturdy yet easy to take a bite out of having to tear at it with your teeth. They are also the ideal size for a suitable portion and curve into a perfect cup shape to hold any filling. An infamous Asian restaurant chain uses them for their beloved chicken lettuce wraps probably for these very reasons.