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Pucker up!

Who doesn't love fresh, piping hot rhubarb strawberry pie? To quote La Belle Bride, "if those aren't your three favourite words, well, then, that's weird." Today's culinary curiosity is a shout out to our pink friend, the one, the only, the slender and dainty, rhubarb. Rhubarb is extremely tart with unparalleled pucker power. Tightwad loves rhubarb. She even loves saying it. The word is funny looking, too. RHUBARB. Some people are very serious about their rhubarb; Dan's website is completely dedicated to the stuff - he even sells rhubarb t-shirts!

Here are some random folksy and culinary facts about rhubarb:
- The Chinese used rhubarb for medicinal purposes as early as 2700 BC, with the dried root valued as a laxative;
- to dream about rhubarb growing denotes that pleasant entertainment will occupy your time for a while;
-rhubarb is so hardy it will survive with almost total neglect - and it LIKES frost;
- harvesting should be delayed until the second year following planting to permit the roots to acculmulate;
- rhubarb is typically harvested in late May or early June, with an option for a second harvest in late August;
- rhubarb is usually sold in bunches of 2 to 2.5lbs, which will yield about 3/4 cup of cooked rhubarb;
- keep it in the fridge for up to three weeks in a sealed bag and without the leaves;
- rhubarb is a versatile ingredient in baking, used for pies, tarts, puddings, breads, jams and jellies;
- rhubarb is 95% water and is a good source of potassium, vitamin C, dietary fibre and calcium;
- rhubarb has a history of being used as a herbal medicine to balance the digestive system; and,
- because they contain oxalate and anthraquinone glycosides (say that three times), rhubarb leaves are POISONOUS.

Tightwad thinks that if you just give rhubarb's tart bite a chance, you will find that its distinctive flavour will add balance and complexity to what you are making. With that in mind, here's a recipe roundup:

Green Kitchen Stories rhubarb strawberry lemonade Delectable Deliciousness fancy little lemon rhubarb mousse cakes Kitchen 22 orange and rhubarb cake Two Peas and Their Pod cherry rhubarb crisp The Cooking Photographer walnut crumble topped raspberry rhubarb pie The Kitchn rhubarb syrup (she recommends the use for this is a rhubarb gin and tonic - yum! Hungry Cravings strawberry rhubarb crostatas Breaking Bread rhubarb and banana tiramisu


Lucy said...

You just gave me the urge to make a rhubarb pie. I love strawberry rhubarb and its nice to know the leaves are poison.

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