Grow to Love .... Rhubarb

Grow to Love... Rhubarb

Why Love... Rhubarb? 


The real thing is even better than those rhubarb and custard sweets we crammed in our mouths as a kid. It’s great value, versatile and has a unique flavour.

It’s a culinary conundrum - botanically rhubarb is a vegetable but it’s eaten as a fruit.

Forced rhubarb (grown in darkness) is pale pink, tender and appears first in the season. Its later, field grown counterpart is a green or red colour, tough and stringy but some would argue has a better flavour.

Both are extremely low in calories (although it always needs sweetening) and can be used in loads of sweet and savoury dishes.

Did you know?


  • Rhubarb is an ancient vegetable native to Asia and known to the Chinese over 4,000 years ago.
  • The culinary use of rhubarb in the UK is quite recent, beginning sometime in the late 18thcentury.
  • Such was its popularity during World War II that a state of Rhubarb Mania was declared - sticks of rhubarb and a bag of sugar were given to children instead of their sweet ration.

Top tips


  • However you use it, cook rhubarb beforehand by baking or stewing it gently until tender. Add sugar before or after cooking, but do not eat the leaves as they are very poisonous.
  • Rhubarb is a classic ingredient for a tart or crumble. Bake it first and mix with ginger, vanilla, orange or cinnamon for a beautiful filling.
  • Pureed rhubarb is marvellous warm or cold in mousses, sorbets, ice cream and fools.
  • Rhubarb is very acidic so it goes well with oily fish. Try it baked and peppered to go with mackerel.
  • Flavour a rich meat like pork or lamb with a sweet rhubarb sauce or chutney, or add it to a casserole.

Recipe Suggestions

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