So What Really is Rhubarb?
When you mention the word rhubarb, most people think first about the always popular rhubarb pie. While the pie is always amazing, cooking with it can really intensify a meal and satisfy any diner.
When is it used?
Really answering the question of what this ingredient is fairly simple. In addition to being used for food, it was used for medicinal purposes. Most people prefer to cook it with sugar, because of its bitterness. This versatile ingredient is often paired with strawberry because of the sweetness to help balance it out.
What kind of food is it?
Rhubarb resembles celery and is technically a vegetable but legally is designated as a fruit. This was for importing purposes and a New York court made the declaration in the late 1940s.
When can I get rhubarb?
It is normally in season and you can harvest rhubarb from April through June. The earlier you find it the more tender, while later it is more robust. Rhubarb stalks are generally very crisp. The ideal stalk has the leaves still attached and is a dark red color. Dark red makes for a much sweeter taste overall.
What is the best way to cook it?
There are a number of ways to think about when cooking with this “fruit”. This includes stewed, pureed, roasted, and sauteed. There is no need for a great deal of water when cooking it since it has high water content already.
There are a lot of different recipes to look at here MyRecipes.
The next time you are at the grocery store, be sure to consider trying this strange but unique ingredient. Or tell your friend who is ready to bring over a treat exactly what is rhubarb. The sweetness is simply amazing!
For more information on harvesting rhubarb yourself, check out this amazing article from Happy DIY HOME.