Rhubarb, Rhubarb everywhere….

Rhubarb in Boston.

Image via Wikipedia

I read a number of cooking blogs, I’m sure you’re not surprised to read that.

This week I read two different posts about Rhubarb.

Which seemed odd or fortuitous or something.

Maybe I was meant to learn more about this oddly named plant.

First, I had to figure out what exactly a rhubarb is.

Shocking? Ehh…I’m a sheltered girl.

Other than the Joker quote in Batman

“Never rub another man’s rhubarb. Ha ha ha.” 

I don’t know a whole heck of a lot about Rhubarb.

First stop, wikipedia. I love me some wikipedia.  Here is what wikipedia had to say about rhubarb, just in case you were as clueless about rhubarb as I was.

First thing I learned was that the leaves are toxic. “Although the leaves are toxic, various parts of the plants have culinary and medicinal uses.”

And that they are very tart. “Fresh raw stalks are crisp (similar to celery) with a strong tart taste; most commonly the plant’s stalks are cooked and used in pies and other foods for their tart flavour.”

Now, I’m not too sure why you’d want to cook with something that is partly toxic.  I have seen rhubarb/strawberry jellies and jams at the store, but I’ve never bought one. 

Is a rhubarb a veggie or a fruit? About.com was my next stop. Here’s the answer I got to the veggie or fruit question.

” It’s a very ornamental vegetable that is usually prepared and eaten much like a fruit. All that and it’s perennial in many areas. Rhubarb is a cool season crop that is grown for its fibrous leaf stalks, which are a wonderful sweet-tart treat.”

Here are the two blog recipes I read this week….

Happy Opu Celina’s Braised Pork Shoulder with Rhubarb and Peas

and

Smitten Kitchen rhubarb streusel muffins

Have you cooked with rhubarb? If so, I’d love to hear about your recipes.  I believe I might buy a jar of rhubarb jam and give it a try, if I like it I will try making the rhubarb streusel muffins, but I’ll be wearing gloves when I remove the leaves I don’t need any toxic in my life.

Here is another link with more rhubarb recipes. From Nancy Kitchen.

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5 Comments

  1. We used to have rubarb growing out back. Unforunatly I think my kids got a little over excited and pulled out my whole plant. I love strawberry rubarb pie.

  2. Oh nice roundup! I still haven’t used rhubarb this year. And I now know why they sell the rhubarb deleafed.

    • 🙂 and now thanks to you, I know that I won’t have to de-leaf the the rhubarb myself. 🙂

  3. I’m glad you’ve discovered rhubarb! It’s pretty great when it’s cooked down and sweetened. Something simple to start with would be rhubarb crumble (try this from Gregg Wallace: http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/420616/rhubarb-crumble – if Gregg likes it, it must be good!) with loads of custard! 😀

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