Prior to 1992 the only romaine available to restaurants and other foodservice establishments was the large, dark green heads of romaine so familiar to restaurant shoppers.
Chefs knew about hearts of romaine, but could only get them by peeling down each head of romaine, hoping to find a heart inside. Because not all romaine varieties have a heart, that was a monumental task! That all changed when Boggiatto Produce began to pack Hearts of Romaine into cartons specifically designed for the foodservice industry.
At first, we gleaned fields of romaine, looking for heads left behind after the regular romaine harvest crew had passed over the field. Eventually, we needed to plant fields dedicated to growing the romaine only for hearts. We worked hard to select only varieties that had a good, solid heart inside when mature.
It was about this time we developed a relationship with one of the premier restaurateurs in Southern California, who was enthralled with the idea of being able to buy hearts of romaine that were ready for the chopping table in the back of his restaurants. Heretofore, finding romaine hearts for their Caesar salads was a hit-and-miss proposition. Now, they knew that every head would have the right product to make a perfect Caesar!
This was truly the start of the romaine hearts “trend,” which has been strong for the past 24 years! Today, many growers and shippers of fresh vegetables have romaine hearts as part of their rundown, but no one has yet surpassed the quality or value of our Garden Hearts® — the original foodservice Hearts of Romaine.