Some like it thick, some like it thin, either way you eat it — rhubarb is in (season)!
Most likely to be used in pies, puddings and other tart desserts, rhubarb is also an excellent addition to preserves, sauces and jams. It’s low in cholesterol and sodium, keeps the body cleansed and offers a good source of dietary fiber, vitamins C and K, calcium, potassium and more. Who knew such a beautiful crimson vegetable had so many health benefits?
Rhubarb is also a native crop to Pennsylvania and grows both wild and cultivated across the state. There’s an Annual Lancaster County Rhubarb Festival held each year in Intercourse, Pa. (soon to be in its 36th year!), and local farms like Kauffman’s Fruit Farm & Market in Bird-in-Hand and Dietz Produce in York’s Central Market House grow the rosy stalks and sell them during late spring and early summer.
PA Eats scoured the internet and pulled together five must-know facts about rhubarb for you to devour this season.
Top 5 Rhubarb Facts:
- According to the Food Network, 1 pound of fresh rhubarb yields about 3 cups chopped or 2 cups cooked. This is a great tip to remember in the store when you’re purchasing rhubarb for a recipe.
- Rhubarb was used as a medicine/healing ointment in earlier centuries. A native plant of China, rhubarb was grown and traded for medicinal purposes as early as the 16th century. According to History of Fruit, rhubarb gained popularity as a food and vegetable source by the 19th century.
- The redder the stalk, the sweeter the flavor. Savor the Rhubarb points out that green rhubarb can also be eaten, and is just a different variety. All rhubarb is quite bitter in taste and therefore a great substitute for cranberries, and a good match with a sweeter fruit like strawberries.
- The leaves attached to the Rhubarb stalk are poisonous. Daily Random Facts tells us that no matter how enticing, green, and crisp those leaves look, you should always discard that part of the plant.
- Though not often used in modern parlance, the word “rhubarb” can also mean “a heated argument or dispute,” according to Merriam Webster.
But don’t get into a rhubarb about what to make for dinner! Enjoy these top recipes that incorporate rhubarb in your diet in the most tasty ways imaginable, sure to create harmony in any kitchen.
How do you like to cook or bake with rhubarb? Let us know!
- Photos: Bigstock