Burns My Bacon: What the Frisee?


Am I the only one who thinks there is no worse food crime than being served a salad—or worse, a piece of meat—and having it arrive topped with mounds of frisee? What is the deal with this stuff? It tastes like shoving a handful of dried-out grass into your mouth, yet somehow it keeps showing up on more and more menus. And instead of hiding it underneath something tasty, chefs seem to want to build piles and piles of it on top of a dish, as if we might enjoy digging through this crap to get to the real food.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m no salad-hater, but as far as I’m concerned, this blander-than-bland weed makes iceberg look like hen-of-the-woods.

Are you with me?

(Photo: Stu Spivack)

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  • JoeHoya January 2, 2013  

    I think Anthony Bourdain said it best via John Cho in the TV series version of Kitchen Confidential: “Frisee…the awkward lettuce. It’s like eating somebody’s afro.”

    You can find it at roughly 2 minutes into this episode.

  • BS January 2, 2013  

    Joe! Could to see you. And well said.

  • Emily January 2, 2013  

    Agreed, as much as I can usually get behind a vegetable garnish… I HATE frisee. There’s just no point to it. It doesn’t even look nice.

  • Girl + Fire March 1, 2013  

    Finally, someone who can empathize with my hatred of this ridiculous vegetable! I hate frisee with the fury and intensity of a million suns. I call it anorexic lettuce, because that’s exactly what it looks like: the skeleton of dead lettuce. Thankfully I’ve yet to be served a steak defiled by a crown of this crap, but I always find it hiding in what looks like a big, hefty salad…only to find it buried in the bottom. You pull it out, and suddenly the salad shrinks exponentially.

    Stupid filler vegetable. Styrofoam probably has more nutritional value.

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