Mesclun, also known as “spring mix,” refers to the mixture of young, tender salad greens that are under three inches in length. It originated in the region of Provençal, France. In fact, the French word “mesclar,” which means “to mix” or “mixture” is where it got its name from. Perhaps, the blend was quite recent to the culinary world. Based on the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, it was first used in 1976. Yet, according to local historians, it originated with the farmers of the Nice city, as each of them would bring their own distinct mix of baby greens to the farmers market. Still, mesclun first appeared, in farm stands and restaurants, in the United States around the early 1980s. Since then, it has been popular in the market.
Traditionally, the mix includes arugula, leafy lettuce, endive, and chervil. Yet, various greens may also be added. These may include the following: frisée, oak leaves, romaine, Lolla Rossa, tatsoi, bok choy, orach, mizuna, baby spinach, Swiss Chard, collard greens, garden cress, dandelion greens, kale, radicchio, mache, and mustard greens.
Nevertheless, it offers varied colors, tastes, and textures. It can range from sweet to peppery and buttery to nutty.
Binomial Name: Varied
Mesclun Mix Trivia
- Mesclun or spring mix only takes 4 to 6 weeks to grow and they can be grown all-year-round.
- The mix should be harvested when the baby greens are under 3 inches, approximately 3 to 4 weeks old. Older ones can be used as hot vegetables.
- Green lettuce was originally referred to as Cos, after the island of Kos in Greece where they’re discovered.