It is sometimes called rocket, roquette, rugula or rucola. It looks like a baby lettuce and is often compared to watercress, but its little known secret is that it is really just a common local weed, and a member of the cruciferous family related to broccoli and cauliflower.
In 2006, arugula became a symbol for the entire foodie movement with the publication of David Kamp’s book, The United States of Arugula: How We Became a Gourmet Nation.
In his book, Kamp explores how we evolved to a society where balsamic vinegar, free-range chicken, extra virgin olive oil, and of course, arugula, have become mainstream terms.
However, in 2008, arugula lost its luster when it became embroiled in political controversy. Unwittingly, arugula became a symbol of the culture wars in the presidential election and the media latched onto Barack Obama’s bewailing the price of arugula, much like it did when George H.W. Bush bad-mouthed broccoli.
Now the sordid details can come out: Arugula leads a double life.
Far from being a food for the elite, arugula can be found growing wild all over North America.
Here is the secret for the most delicious, cheapest, and least wasteful lasagna you can make.