Loose Leaves Sink Ships, or, Serve It Whole, It's "Fancy"
I don't like loose leaf spinach. I really don't like it at all. I don't think there is ever a time when, if given the choice, I would eat loose leaf spinach. Unfortunately, that's what my wife buys. She loves loose leaf spinach. Don't get me wrong, I eat it, but I would much rather eat iceberg lettuce, or romaine, but loose leaf spinach is the salad green of choice at my house. A long time ago, I didn't like the way it tasted. It's got a bitterness to it that is missing from my other favorite salad greens. I got over that. I sort of like how it tastes now.
Then I thought it was the texture. I still don't like the texture. It's too thin. A good lettuce is ripply, like a potato chip, and crunches. It is also packed full of water in its inner structures. I like this about lettuce. It's refreshing. Not so with loose leaf spinach. It's like eating paper, and not in a good way.
A couple days ago I think I had an epiphany. I think I now know why I really don't like loose leaf spinach. It's too big. The leaves, at least in the containers we get from Costco, are around two to three inches long and the stems extend from them at least another inch. That's too big for the salad bowl, too big for my fork and too big for my mouth. If I had a nice head of romaine or iceberg, I could cut it into reasonable, bite-sized pieces. Not so with loose leaf spinach. It comes pre-configured in its loose leaf shapes. Shapes that are too big.
The size problem is further compounded in a salad. I can manage to get one piece of loose leaf spinach into my mouth just fine, but a half dozen on a fork, covered with salad dressing and possibly accompanied by a tomato, mushroom, or piece of grilled chicken, is too overwhelmingly large to make it through my lips without getting ranch on my face. I don't like getting ranch on my face.
For the foreseeable future we will likely stock our fridge with loose leaf spinach. Can I chop it before we make a salad? Is that allowed? I think I will attempt it next time. There's probably a rule against that. I am not afraid.