11 April 2012

Flavour of the Week - Rhubarb

Ok, so maybe not the most exotic or adventurous choice however an essential and diverse flavour regardless.

Considered to be a vegetable by pretty much everyone, Rhubarb is infact a fruit in the US, according to a New York court in 1947. Unlike the physical reasoning for a tomato being a fruit, rhubarb changed classification due to a reduction in regulation and tax duty between the two categories.

Although in warmer climates, rhubarb grows throughout the year, it must be cultivated artificially in more temperate climates such as the UK. Methods used to encourage growth range from simple greenhouses with temperature regulation to placing a bucket over the plant. It is harvested during spring time and is ready to consume immediately after harvesting, although be careful of the leaves as they are toxic.

Most notable for their coloured stalks that can range from a deep red, light pink or light green similar to celery. The colour is affected by the variety of rhubarbs but also the technique which is used to cultivate the vegetable.

Used widely in cooking for everything from pies to ice-cream, it is a good choice for deserts as it's tart flavour can be balanced with other sweeter ingredients or sugar.

Flavour - Tart, tangy, rounded

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