It doesn’t matter if you are simply curious to learn more about the difference between spinach and baby spinach, or if you are an avid gardener that is seeking out additional plant information, you might actually be surprised to find out that there are 4 different types of spinach.
Although, even though this is the case, the majority of people would agree that there are 3 categories of spinach.
Spinach is a type of leafy vegetable that is often served with a wide variety of different dishes, and if you are a lover of spinach, you have probably heard that there are different types of spinach to choose from.
With this information, you might now be left wondering if spinach and baby spinach are two of the 4 categories that we have mentioned.
In this article, we are going to answer all of the questions that you have about the different types of spinach, and what makes them different from one another.
Then you will be able to choose the best type of spinach for certain dishes that you are making.
Are Spinach And Baby Spinach Different Things?
Interestingly, baby spinach is simply the smaller and younger leaves of the flat or smooth type of spinach. So, if when you are referring to spinach, you are talking about the smooth and flat leaves, then this is actually baby spinach that you are referring to.
They are pretty much the same leafy green vegetables, but the younger leaves will be picked while they are still small to be classed as baby spinach.
However, with all of that being said, if you are looking for savoy, semi-savoy, or wild spinach, then you should know that these are not necessarily the same as baby spinach.
This might all sound a little bit confusing, which is why we are going to talk about the four different types of spinach below in more detail.
What Are The Four Types Of Spinach?
There are lots of people that are adamant that there are only 3 different types of spinach, but there is also a fourth that most people tend to forget about.
Although, all of these types of spinach are quite similar, which is why a lot of people tend to categorize them all as just spinach.
The first type of spinach that you should know about is the smooth or flat leaf type. As we have already said, baby spinach is simply this type of spinach that has been harvested much earlier.
This type of spinach is usually quite mild, and it has a slightly earthy flavor. As well as this, it is typically quite crisp when you bite into it.
The next type of spinach that we are going to mention is the savoy variety. This is the dark green and bumpy type of spinach that looks very similar to kale. It tends to have a richer flavor, but not so much that it is over-powering.
This is probably the most commonly used type of spinach due to its unique texture and great flavor.
The third type of spinach is essentially a mixture of the two that we have already mentioned. It is called semi-savoy, and as you may have already gathered from the name, it is partly a flat leaf spinach, and partly a savoy spinach.
This usually results in a lighter colored spinach with a slightly bumpy texture. Basically, this is a kind of hybrid between the two previously mentioned types of spinach.
The last type of spinach that is worth mentioning is wild spinach, which is also called lamb’s quarters. This is the type of wild spinach that lots of people consider to be a weed that they will rip out of their gardens.
Due to the fact that it is a wild plant, it will feature an earthier and more bitter flavor. It is also well known for its texture and appearance that is pointed, while slightly fuzzy.
It is unlike the traditional round spinach that you will be able to purchase at your local grocery store. Although this type of spinach is very different, it is still preferred by many. Although, it is not as commonly used as the other types of spinach.
What Classifies Spinach As Baby Spinach?
The reason that it is called baby spinach is that it is simply a younger version of normal spinach. Baby spinach is simply a flat leafed type of spinach that has been removed from the plant at an earlier stage, and when it is still small in size.
So, baby spinach is’t really its own type of spinach, it is just regular spinach that has been harvested earlier on in the growing process.
Due to the fact that food usually tastes and looks different at different growth stages, you can expect baby spinach to differ from regular spinach in these ways.
Do Spinach And Baby Spinach Look Different?
Regular spinach and baby spinach do not look too dissimilar. Baby spinach is made up of the youngest leaves of the flat leaf spinach plant, which means that it does look very similar to the fully grown version of the plant.
Both of these types of spinach will have long stems and round leaves, and they will sport a bright and saturated green coloring.
The same can be said for other types of spinach, like baby savoy spinach and their fully grown counterparts.
Baby spinach is only a younger version of the plant, so it will still feature some of the main characteristics when it comes to the appearance of the plant.
You won’t typically find other baby spinach varieties in stores other than the flat leaf variety that we have mentioned, but they would still retain the same appearance as the older version of the plants.
More often than not, when someone is referring to baby spinach, they are talking about the flat or smooth leaf variety.
Do Spinach And Baby Spinach Have The Same Texture?
Both of these types of spinach will have their own texture, although it may be quite similar, especially when you are eating it.
Both spinach and baby spinach will be filled with water and oxalic acid, and both of these things will combine with other chemicals that are present in the plant to form a unique texture.
This is why you will probably notice a weird dry feeling in your mouth when you are eating either spinach or baby spinach. This is a chemical that will also provide these types of spinach with their dry and fuzzy feeling in your mouth.
This dry feeling is simply the oxalic acid from the plant mixing with the saliva that is in your mouth.
Do Spinach And Baby Spinach Taste The Same?
The main difference between regular spinach and baby spinach is the taste of each of them. Normal spinach will usually have quite a mild, bitter, and earthy flavor that many people love and enjoy.
However, baby spinach tends to be quite a bit sweeter in flavor. It isn’t sweet like sugar would be sweet, but it does have its own distinct sweet taste.
Due to the fact that the plant is still young, the tannins in the leaves will not yet be fully developed. This means that the typical bitter flavor of spinach tends to be more mild in baby spinach than in regular spinach. It also usually has less of an earthy flavor.
So, if you are someone that doesn’t particularly enjoy the earthy flavor of spinach, then you might want to try out baby spinach as an alternative. Both of these types of spinach taste great and can be used for a wide variety of dishes.
They are both also healthy, which is always a good thing if you are looking for healthy alternatives.