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I recently bought some arugula, partially to make salads with. I tasted some leaves though, and it's incredibly salty. It also doesn't look like any arugula I've ever had before:

Arugula

I'm used to more "serrated spear"-shaped leaves. This looks more like spinach than anything. If I tear it up though, it releases the distinct, sharply-bitter smell that I associate with arugula.

I thought that the salt may be a result of a pesticide or something that was added to the leaves, but the packaging claims it's pesticide free, and also that it was grown via aquaponics. The salt taste also survives several rounds of washing.

Is there something wrong with the arugula, or is this a particular variety? If I search for "salty arugula", the results are almost exclusively recipes that involve adding salt, which isn't very helpful.

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Round-leaf arugula is apparently an actual variety that exists. However, it is not noted for having a particularly salty flavor.

Given the strong salty flavor, and the appearance, it's more likely that you got orach instead. A nutritious and tasty green, Orach is known for its high salt content, making it excellent in salads (just don't add more salt to it).

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  • Thank you. It's hard to say looking at images on my phone. Ill need to check the images when I get home. It's definitely not red though, so I would be the green variety if it is orach, and the leaves I have are much darker than the images of green orach that I can find. – Carcigenicate Feb 4 at 19:45
  • I've grown green orach before; the leaves you have aren't beyond the range of color for it. They do look more like spinach, though, but I can't find a spinach variety that's as salty as you say. – FuzzyChef Feb 4 at 19:51

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