I chop lettuce. Go ahead, let me have it.
You’re not supposed to chop lettuce. I’m no cook but even I know that. I don’t know why exactly, but I know you’re supposed to tear lettuce, not chop it.
is better than leaving it untorn. One of the downfalls of going to a
nice restaurant is you’re likely to get a salad with great big leaves
flapping around in it. You can try to fold it up into a tidy package
with your fork, but you’re still at risk of looking like a turtle,
snapping your neck back and forth trying to corral the greenery. Little
fringey bits are trailing all over your face because despite your best
fork-folding efforts the stuff is springing back out of your lips and
dripping unsightly dressing down your cheek. And you’re also not
supposed to go after it with your fingers. You have to herd the escaped
greens back into your mouth with your fork, and that can’t be done with
any delicacy. I don’t know how the Queen manages it.
worse if you have a small face. I have a small face on account of I
have a small head, and my face is on the front of it. Sure, everything
from the chin down has swollen into pudding, but there’s not a lot of
acreage in the face itself. I start smearing runaway lettuce onto it, I
look like I’ve planted myself in a hedge.

on that. I make my own salad, I chop the bejesus out of the greens. I
want every portion of that salad bite-sized. I want to make the transfer
from plate to gullet as orderly as possible. Let’s just say when we had
a dog, she didn’t park herself next to my dining chair.

allowable, in your lesser restaurants; you can tear your lettuce into
little pieces. But I am not inclined to stand there over my cutting
board and rip plants into confetti when I can just whack at them with a
big knife in four seconds. Done.
read up. Seems the reason you’re supposed to tear, not chop, is that
the resulting pieces will separate along natural cell-wall lines and not
rip the cells apart. I’ve studied plants with a microscope before. The
cells are generally lined up like subway tiles. And they’re very little.
Even if a whole bunch of them are screaming at once, you’re not going
to hear them over the chewing.
Well, I can’t even separate an invoice from a page along
the perforated line without messing up at one end or the other. I could,
if I took the time to fold it real good and crease it with my
thumbnail, but that’s not my idea of a good use of time.
the cells damaged by my kitchen knife produce polyphenols in order to
protect the plant against further damage. I’m making a salad. I’m
already planning on damaging the hell out of those little princesses,
right quick.
I’m chopping. If the Queen drops by, I’ll chop a salad for her, too.