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Market Haul

Market Haul: Rhubarb

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Sweet and tart, rhubarb defies our savory expectations of a vegetable.


Are they a fruit or a vegetable?

Are they sweet or savory?

The answer, surprisingly, is yes to all of the above. Depending on whom you ask, rhubarb can be classified as fruit or vegetable. It can be prepared with sugar for jams and pies, and its sourness makes it ideal for pickling. Rhubarb is a good source of potassium, vitamin C, and dietary fiber, and it is extremely low in calories.

How to choose them
Size doesn't matter when choosing rhubarb. Look for red stalks that are flat and firm, not curled or limp. Peak season spans April through June.

How to use them
Rhubarb stalks are quite tart, so they are commonly cooked with sugar or other sweeteners. Check out this recipe for strawberry-rhubarb pie, a popular dessert in spring and summer. To enjoy rhubarb all year long, try pickling it or making rhubarb jam. If canned properly, both of these preparations can be stored for months before they're eaten.

How to store them
Wrap rhubarb plants in plastic and store them in the fridge for up to one week.

What's your favorite rhubarb recipe? Share it in the comments below.

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About the Author
Amy Gordon
Amy Gordon

Amy Gordon is a Wharton graduate who prefers flip flops to business suits. She writes about travel, food, wellness, and social consciousness.

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  • Azmia K. 5 months ago
    I love Rhubarb. It is delicious in cakes.
  • Nancy H. 10 months ago
    I've been making Rhubarb pies since I was a kid- for my dad's B-day pie...I use half the amount of sugar, so it's nice and tart, so you can dump a few scoops of vanilla ice cream on top! Also love the Rhubarb compote at Mrs. Knott's restaurant in Knott's Berry Farm in Buena Park near Disneyland!!! YUMM!
  • Kelly F. 11 months ago
    They sell strawberry rhubarb pie at King Kullen. In half and whole pies. Very good; not many customers buy it though, more purchase apple, coconut custard, and pumpkin.
  • joanna l. 11 months ago
    I never used them , are the leaves edible ? What do they taste like?