Thursday, April 24, 2008

Rhubarb - the first seasonal fruit

Preparing Rhubarb by George Smith
Preparing Rhubarb

Rhubarb is an understated native fruit. It is the first fruit of the season and can be eaten as early as March when forced. Its tender red stems, are not everyone's favourite but I continue to experiment with its flavours.

It can be bitter but when cooked with a little orange juice, the taste seems to become sweet and silky. It is a miraculous plant and I planted 2 crowns this year in the garden. They do not yield anything this year but I have been asking around and there is plenty to be had for free. I planted the rhubarb crowns under the apple tree and the morello cherry tree. When the tree is bare in winter, the sun brings on the rhubarb nicely and when the rhubarb season is over, its leaves provide a leaf compost to feed the apple and cherry tree.

Rhubarb gets creatively changed into

Poached rhubarb with stem ginger ice cream
  • Rhubarb Tart
  • Rhubarb Syllabub
  • Rhubarb and Grapefruit Marmalade.
  • Rhubarb cake

Rhubarb is said to be the ancient Sanskrit remedy Soma, for courage, wisdom and longevity. It has purifying properties and can lift our energies after hibernation.

This plant will give us fruit every year in abundance and will require minimum attention over the years. It forms part of

1 comment:

Chervil said...

I love rhubarb - wonderful food, it used to be one of my favourites even as a child!