Everyday Food Blog

So, Um, What's Rhubarb?

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It's rhubarb season and today Sarah shared a stellar recipe for Rhubarb Crumb Bars. And while they're delicious, you might be wondering... um... what exactly is rhubarb, anyway? A fruit? A vegetable? Everyone seems to love strawberry-rhubarb pie, but we hear these questions from dinner guests and readers alike. So let's break it down.

Even though rhubarb looks like celery's red relative, it isn't. Rhubarb is a vegetable. Apparently, back in 1947, a New York court declared that it was to be considered a fruit (can they do that?), but the ruling didn't take in out-of-state locales. Most people relate rhubarb to fruit because it pops up in a lot of desserts. Don't be fooled -- this stuff isn't sweet at all. It's very sour on its own (it just pairs incredibly well with other ingredients). Plus, the leaves are toxic, so be sure to toss them before you start chopping your stalks.

Get into the rhubarb season with these rad recipes:

Strawberry-Rhubarb Slab Pie

Rhubarb Salad with Goat Cheese

Rhubarb Compote

Comments (1)

  • avatar

    Love rhubarb and i'm loving the rhubarb crumb bars (made them this weekend).
    My question is though, can you serve rhubarb WITHOUT dowsing it in sugar?
    Is it ever used in savoury dishes? Can it's sourness be used to its advantage? Can it ever be used not drowning in sugar?

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