Last spring, I offered a cocktail to a friend made with my rhubarb liquor, which I make yearly. She looked puzzled and asked, "What does rhubarb taste like? How do you eat it?" I said that "Rhubarb tastes like a mix of strawberries and celery. So tart and sweet" It's also delicious!
Many people think that rhubarb has an acquired taste, with the popular vegetable getting reviews that it tastes like sour green apples, to shying away from it due to its distinctive taste. If you want to try this early summer vegetable for the first time, read on!
What is rhubarb?
Rhubarb is a member of Polygonaceae, a family of plants with leaves that have long petioles (leaf stalks). Rhubarb leaves are heart-shaped, and the bases of the stalks have wings or ribs running lengthwise along with them.
An early spring vegetable, rhubarb that grows in the ground and belongs to the genus Rheum. It is best known for its tart flavor. However, the sour taste of rhubarb is not unique; Many people say that this veggie's flavors can be pretty intense, but adding sugar or another sweetener will lessen the strength.
Let's get into this perennial plant and learn more about this delicious vegetable and the different ways to use it that will tickle your taste buds!
What does rhubarb taste like?
If you've never tasted rhubarb before, you might wonder what it tastes like.
Rhubarb is typically first eaten as a pie filling. Rhubarb is the supporting role in a strawberry rhubarb pie, where the tartness of the rhubarb nicely balances out the sweetness of the strawberries.
It's also popular to add sugar to raw rhubarb stalks and serve it with ice cream or yogurt. These preparations are sweet, but they can still taste like rhubarb without adding too much sugar.
It's also possible to eat rhubarb without added sugar and still find it delicious! Many people use stalks as an ingredient in chutneys, often spicy and eaten alongside meat dishes such as curry chicken. Rhubarb is also great in relish or pickled vegetables.
The first thing to know is that you can eat it in various ways: as a sweet or savory, cooked or raw. So, we'll look at a few different ways to eat it so you can start drawing your conclusions.
You can also make a vegetable in many recipes, such as rhubarb jam, rhubarb soup, and rhubarb pie.
What parts of rhubarb are edible?
Only the stalks; leaves of the rhubarb plant contain poisonous substances that cause nausea and vomiting if eaten in quantity. Only the roots, leaves, and seeds contain oxalic acid, which is toxic to humans. The amount in stalk tissue is low enough not to pose any threat when consumed as food.
Eating Rhubarb Raw
The fleshy stalks can be eaten raw or cooked. Raw rhubarb has a sour flavor similar to a lemon; however, it becomes sweeter as you cook it.
Rhubarb also pairs well with strawberries and vanilla. Strawberry neutralizes some of its tartness, while vanilla extract enhances its sweetness.
Rhubarb is a vegetable that has been enjoyed in China and Europe since the late 18th century. However, it was not considered a fruit until the late 20th century when the U.S. Customs Court ruled that rhubarb should be classified as a fruit for import duties.
Rhubarb is technically a vegetable, but it's treated as a fruit when cooking. Rhubarb has a tangy, tart flavor and is typically used in desserts like pies and crumbles. If you're unsure how to store rhubarb, you've come to the right place.
Use rhubarb within a few days of purchase, but it can last up to a week if stored properly. The easiest way to store it is to trim the ends and wrap the stalks in a damp paper towel and place them in an open plastic bag in the refrigerator.
The dampness will help keep the rhubarb from drying out. If you're not going to use the rhubarb immediately, wrap the stalks tightly in plastic wrap and freeze them for up to 1 year. Rhubarb is best when fresh but can also be preserved by canning (or bottling) or drying.
When you buy rhubarb at farmer's markets or local grocery stores, look for stalks that are firm and brightly colored and avoid any that are wilted or bruised. They should also be free of blemishes, with crisp and bright green leaves.
Rhubarb grows from short, thick rhizomes. It has large leaves that readily wilt and rot if not dried quickly after harvest. Fresh raw stalks are crisp (like celery) with a strong, tart taste in culinary use. The plant's leaf stalks are commonly cooked with sugar and used in pies and other desserts.
Store fresh rhubarb in the refrigerator; it can also be frozen or canned.
Is rhubarb a fruit or vegetable?
Rhubarb is mostly treated as a fruit, but it's a vegetable that's part of the buckwheat family.
The rhubarb plant is often mistaken for a celery plant, as they share many similar characteristics, including buccolor and stalks. Rhubarb comes in two colors – red and green. The radiant color of rhubarb sets this perennial vegetable apart.
Red rhubarb is more popularly used, as it has a sweeter taste and softer consistency than when it's green.
There are over 60 types of rhubarb, including Crimson Cherry Red, Holstein Bloodred, Turkish, German Wine, and Colorado Red. According to the Center for Agriculture, Food, and the Environment at UMass Amherst, McDonald’s Canadian Red, Victoria, and Valentine are some of the best varieties of rhubarb to grow in New England.
How do you eat rhubarb?
Rhubarb has been used for medicinal purposes since the 17th century, but humans didn't eat it until the 18th century when they mixed it with sugar to balance out its sour flavor.
Rhubarb is typically eaten as a fruit, often cooked or baked with sweeteners such as honey, maple syrup molasses, or sugar.
It can also be stewed with apples or other fruits for sauces and chutneys. Its tartness makes it an excellent addition to smoothies and beverages as a shrub or syrup.
Where can you use rhubarb as an ingredient?
Rhubarb is probably best known for its pies, crumbles, and other desserts. But its tartness makes it a great addition to savory foods as well.
For example, rhubarb stalks can be chopped into a chutney or salsa, chopped and sauteed for a side dish with meat, or simmered with sugar and water to make syrup for cocktails.
Rhubarb grows in bunches of long, thick reddish-green stalks with large leaves at the top. It's usually available from April through June in grocery stores and farmer's markets across the country.
Rhubarbs' peak season is spring when they're at their sweetest and brightest red color.
No, rhubarb is a type of vegetable and celery is a leafy green. While rhubarb is similar to celery in appearance, it is not related to celery or other vegetables. Instead, it relates to garden plants like buckwheat, sorrel, and knotweed.
Rhubarb tastes a bit like celery, but it's sweeter, like sour green apples.
Rhubarb is a vegetable that's a fruit. It's also very healthy, containing a good amount of fiber and vitamin K.
Rhubarb will keep in the refrigerator for about two weeks and in the freezer for up to eight months.
Wash and chop rhubarb into one-inch pieces then freeze on baking sheets before transferring to freezer bags or airtight containers for up to eight months.
Nothing, as long as if you stick to the stem and leave the leaves which are toxic.
Rhubarb tastes like a combination of strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries. It's also extremely sour. Rhubarb contains high amounts of potassium and vitamin C.
Rhubarb tastes like a combination of strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries. It's also really sour. Rhubarb contains high amounts of potassium and vitamin C.
Brown Sugar Slow-roasted rhubarb is a delicious and sweet treat.
- 2 cups of chopped rhubarb stalks
- 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons orange juice
- Wash and cut the rhubarb into 1-inch pieces.
- Place the rhubarb in a baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
- In a separate bowl, add juice and sugar and mix until fully combined
- Pour the brown sugar and juice mixture over the top of the rhubarb.
- In a preheated 350 degrees F oven, bake for 20-30 minutes or until the rhubarb is fork tender.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 43Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 3mgCarbohydrates: 11gFiber: 0gSugar: 11gProtein: 0g