Rhubarb

Rhubarb

General Information: The rhubarb is a member of the buckwheat family. The stalks are the only edible portion of the plant (the leaves contain Oxalic Acid, which is toxic). Botanically, the rhubarb is a vegetable, although it is often consumed as a fruit. There are two basic types available at the market: hothouse and field grown. Hothouse has pink to pale red stalks and yellow-green leaves. Field-grown have more pronounced flavor, and have cherry red stalks and green leaves.

Season: March – June, with optimal season from April to mid-June.

Purchasing Tips: Choose crisp stalks that are brightly colored. The leaves should not be wilted.

Storage: Rhubarb is very perishable. Refrigerate up to 3 days. Wash and remove the leaves before using.

Cooking Tips: Rhubarb are very tart, and usually used in combination with sugar. Excellent for pies, crèmes, and preserves. Good combined with strawberries or ginger. Stew gently in small amounts of moisture, as it will fall apart rapidly if cooked too aggressively or too long.

Nutritional Info: Good amounts of vitamins A and C, and a good source of essential minerals.

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