A very brief history of Rhubarb
Rhubarb first originated in central Asia and made its way to the Americas in the early 1700s. Given its extensive use in pies, it acquired the name “Pie Plant” and in 1947 the New York court ruled it to be a fruit rather than a vegetable because of the way it was commonly used in cooking. This declaration saved importers of the “fruit” from having to pay the higher taxes that were levied on vegetables at the time. Today Rhubarb thrives in the cool Canadian climate and is available fresh right now in spring. I have two rhubarb plants that, while completely neglected, are doing amazing!
Cheers to Rhubarb
Now let’s answer the obvious question, is rhubarb juice good to drink? On its own, it’s probably too tart, but add it to your favorite beverage and you have a winning combination. Rhubarb brings a vibrant and fresh flavor that demands to be enjoyed on the patio in the sun. Apple and rhubarb were practically made to go together; contrast the tartness of rhubarb with dessert apples or go all out face puckering dry, it doesn’t matter, it will be delicious! Add bulk raw rhubarb juice to your ferment and stand out in the fast-growing cider market. Cider not your thing? what about cocktails, put a fresh twist on the bourbon sour or relive your childhood with a rhubarb pie. Still not convinced? let me introduce rhubarb wine. You can make a powerful dry or a summery sweet simply by varying the sugar content. Grab some pasteurized bag-in-box juice and experiment to your heart’s content.
Rhubarb beyond pies
We all know that rhubarb makes great strawberry and rhubarb pie but it can do so much more. With an acidity similar to that of lemon juice or vinegar it can be directly substituted for these ingredients. Fish and chicken pair especially well with rhubarb, cook it in the juice, or reduce to add a colorful element to your plate. For more rhubarb recipe inspiration check out www.rhubarbinfo.com