I am always a skeptic when it comes to putting fresh greens or fruit straight into my mouth without washing them thoroughly first. And I don’t use the word ‘thoroughly’ lightly here.
So when I looked at the box of Trikaya’s Lettuce Salad, I picked it up and I wondered … No, I’ll have to wash the damn leaves anyway so might as well get my own ingredients and make my own salad … And I put the box back. The label on the box offered little help in calming my fears. I am a phobic about germs and disease. Wash, wash, wash is my theme.
I did this several times over the next few weeks, months I think it was – looked at the box, picked it up, and then put it down again. Then one day my curiosity got the better of me and I tracked down the owner, Samar Gupta (SG), and had a Q & A with him:
Me: Is the salad safe to eat out of the box? (To the point in my tone.)
Me: Yes?? (Shock and disbelief in my voice.)
SG: Yes indeed.
Me: And tell me how and why? (Doubt in my tone.)
SG: First, the leaves are washed in chilled chlorine water, and then washed again 3 times with chilled purified drinking water. After the water is removed using a centrifuge, each leaf is passed over a light box to check for insects, defects, residue and other debris.
Me: Ah hah, and what about the workers handling all the leaves? And the place where it is processed? (Sounding triumphant at having caught a chink in his hygiene story…)
SG: All the workers wear protective gear and the plant is air conditioned and hosed down at the end of the day with chlorine water.
Me: So it’s untouched by hand, and clean, and ready to eat … Ok (Tone changes considerably.)
SG: Yes … And every 2 weeks random samples are tested for 5 parameters, including salmonella and e-coli, spores and mould …
Enough information already. Thank you.
Reassured, I finally pick up a box, take it home and dig in. The leaves are crunchy, farm fresh and delicious. They pass the taste test too.
For the lazy and germophobic, and I’m sure there is an abundance of people like me, it’s a great quick fix of fresh greens. And the box contains salad dressing and a plastic fork too, so you truly have to make no effort at all.
The leaves retain their crispness even after a couple of days if kept refrigerated but why would you want to do that?
For the slightly less lazy, there’s an opportunity to be creative. You can use the Lettuce Salad as a base and add additional fruit or vegetables or nuts or cold meats and seafood, or salad dressings and create your own signature salad.
What you’ll find in the Box: Iceberg Lettuce, Cherry Tomato, Lollo Rosso Lettuce, Green Romaine Lettuce, Simpson Lettuce, Tango Lettuce, Red Oak Leaf Lettuce, Green Butterhead Lettuce, Salad Dressing and Plastic Fork.
Available only in the cities of Mumbai and Pune. Find it at Nature’s Basket, Reliance Fresh, Haico Supermarket and Foodrite outlets besides the company store at Crawford Market. If you live elsewhere, too bad.
Several boxes later, I’ll say this – Mumbai! You’ve got a good thing going!