While most of the cultures familiar with lettuce considered it definitely not the herb to indulge in on your way to a hot date on a feast night, the country that cultivated it originally had a very different opinion of it.
In Ancient Egypt, lettuce was firmly associated with the God, Min.
Min is the Egyptian God of fertility. He was the son of Isis and Osiris and the husband of Iabet, personification of the East and Goddess of fertility, and Repyt.
He was also married, along with Reshep, to Qadesh.
He had many followers in Qift and Akhmim. His sanctuaries were surrounded by beds of lettuce and his worship included public festivals with processions and offerings.
Egyptian God, Min
Egyptian Goddess, Repyt
Egyptian Goddess, Qadesh
Pretty much every where else lettuce is considered to be something of a wet blanket.
“To dream of lettuces is said to portend trouble.”
Richard Folkard in 'Plant Lore' (1884)
I would like to point out that our Noble Interest isn't so socially awkward that you can't take it anywhere. It is being grown on the International Space Station to test the viability of “cut and come again” culture for our astronauts. This article is from October of last year. I haven't checked for follow-ups yet although I doubt the lettuce disappointed.
I have been unable to find any other uses for lettuce or any ways in which it has significantly impacted society. If you know of any that I couldn't find, I 'd be glad to hear about them. Please share them with me in the comments below.
I don't think I forgot anything. Thanks for stopping by!
Tomorrow I'll share Tales of Lettuce. Spoiler alert: Our Noble Interest gets eaten every time.