Botanically classified as a vegetable, it is now generally thought to be a fruit, and this is how it is usually eaten. Rhubarb is usually sold with its leaves on, and although this helps prevent the stalks from wilting, the leaves should be removed before cooking as they contain poisonous oxalic acid. The edible part of rhubarb is the crisp, pink or red stalk. These can be cut into 2 cm pieces and stewed or used in pies, crumbles, ice creams and jams. Any tough stalks should be peeled first to remove the tough fibres. ‘Forced’ rhubarb is grown in long tubes that force the stalks to grow up towards the light. This type is usually found at the beginning of the season and takes only about 5 minutes to cook.

Special Note

Rhubarb goes with — custard, duck, ginger, orange, pork