I have come to realize that “salad” in Melbourne means leaves of arugula, sometimes dressed with a nice lemon vinaigrette and a dusting of parmesan shavings and sometimes just the peppery leaves in the raw.  They call it rocket, but a rose is a rose, and peppery bitter lettuce by any other name is still, peppery, bitter lettuce.  I was tricked for a few moments when certain restaurants would offer a “rouchette” salad, only to find that they were apparently trying to exoticize the otherwise abundantly available rocket. 

Now don’t get me wrong, I love arugula.  We grew arugula in our garden last summer, just before arriving in Melbourne, and I was dismayed to only get a small crop before the squirrels discovered our fresh-for-the-picking oasis and robbed us blind of peppery greens.  But, as a former vegetarian and hater of cooked vegetables but lover of all things raw and crisp in a diversified salad, I am nearly at my rocket limit.  I don’t care if I have to pay $20 for it, what I wouldn’t give for a hunk of iceberg lettuce, smothered in blue cheese, tomatoes and bacon bits right about now.