(Family Features) - It's the same sad story this time every year: A dwindling supply of seasonal produce means farewell to summer's bounty.
Fortunately, there's delicious solace in knowing that fresh salads remain on the menu throughout the year thanks to a growing market for packaged, ready-to-eat blends.
It's a good thing, too. We Americans love salad and we enjoy creatively making salads distinctively our own with flavorful additions. Whether adding fresh and dried fruit, nuts, cheese, veggies, croutons and dressing - as long as we start with the most important element of high-quality fresh lettuces and greens, our salad initiative knows no bounds.
As nutritionists remind us to eat more produce daily, there is added incentive to keep a salad on the menu once or twice a day. A great salad starts with a foundation of greens - the fresher the better. Shop for a variety of blends - lively colors, flavors and textures - to keep your salads special.
Modern fresh salad technology provides us with super-fresh, ready-to-dress salads, so salad making is a snap. With eat-out-of-the-bag convenience, taking a salad for lunch every day is easy.
Produce experts, like top salad-maker Fresh Express, continue to introduce new blends that inspire salad sensibility. Look for traditional favorites and exciting new blends like 5-Lettuce Mix and Sweet Butter. Continuing its historical beginnings as a leader in fresh lettuce (see sidebar on Bruce Church), Fresh Express is the only salad maker offering a freshness guarantee, allowing you to focus on what you do best - letting your salad imagination soar. For the latest arrivals in convenient salads, recipes and flavorful ideas, visit the Fresh Express Web site at www.freshexpress.com.
Fresh Salad Makings Eighty Years Young
We don't think twice about the tossed salad or gourmet greens we enjoy every day. But this healthy American habit comes to us thanks to the vision 80 years ago of an early 20th century produce pioneer.
In 1926, Bruce Church in the Salinas Valley of California - today the "nation's salad bowl" - realized his dream of keeping lettuce cool enough to stay fresh for the first long train ride cross-country to folks "back east."
For people who had to rely on what was locally grown or preserved through canning, fresh produce in the off season was nothing short of remarkable. The delivery of fresh, crisp head lettuce was greeted with enthusiasm, and crowds gathered at railroad tracks across the U.S. with cries of "the icebergs are coming, the icebergs are coming!"
Thus was born a healthful habit - eating salad daily - that Americans embrace today. Church's pioneering business grew to become Fresh Express, the creator of the fresh-cut ready-to-eat packaged salad loved today by millions of Americans. The company continues its commitment to delivering the freshest produce possible to supermarkets nationwide and is the industry pioneer and leader in freshness.
From a dream of bringing fresh, crisp and flavorful lettuce to people coast to coast, Church's legacy lives on in abundant new choices of fresh lettuce blends in the supermarket today.
So as you toss that fresh salad tonight, give a nod of thanks to a pioneer in the greens revolution.
Creating your gourmet salad masterpiece
Keep several bags of blends on hand for making your own fresh, easy, distinctive salad every night. Go "gourmet everyday" by starting with a guaranteed-fresh salad blend and chew on these ideas: