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Rhubarb

Rhubarb was recently mentioned (I have 3 plants) and I learned some things today about this plant. First off is it a vegetable or fruit. One would think its like Chard or celery but it is not related to either of those. It is a petiole and related to sorrel and buckwheat and is definitely a vegetable. However, in 1947 (a big year for lots of big issues – including my being hatched) the U.S. Customs Court of New York declared it to be a fruit (the ruling was based on not what it is but how it is used). Another possible myth is that its leaves are poisonous (they’re loaded with oxalic acid) but don’t tell that to the deer around here because they eat the leaves down to the stalk (I have a garlic based spray that really works). BTW Washington, with a whole 275 acres, is the Rhubarb capital of the U.S.

By JackPedigo8
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4 comments

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1

It's odd they would declare rhubarb a fruit since it has none of the properties of fruit (such as seeds). I understood a controvery over whether tomatos are fruit due to sugar content. As for how it is used, i regularly see sweet potatoe pies around the holidays here in Texas, but as far as I know, no one thinks to try to call sweet potatoes a fruit.

RussRAB Level 7 Apr 10, 2019
2

We grew rhubarb in our yard when I was growing up. I thought it was fascinating. My grandparents had it in their yard and kept separating clumps and sharing it. Had I not moved so many times I'd have had rhubarb and asparagus.

HippieChick58 Level 9 Apr 10, 2019

Thanks for reminding me. I checked and the Asparagus is also coming up.

2

I so want to grow rhubarb! Buying it by the bucket from the supermarket right now

OwlInASack Level 8 Apr 10, 2019

It is said it is very easy to grow but it takes 2 years to get fully set. After that it multiplies and you have to split the root every 5 years and start a new plant. If not split it can get pretty big.

6

where I grew up (East Anglia, UK) it was a staple of even the tiniest backyards (I've seen it in half a square yard of dirt in a 4 yard square concrete 'garden'smile009.gif. I'll never be able to get enough of it... it doesn't like the Tropics and the canned stuff isn't that nice.

Allamanda Level 8 Apr 10, 2019

The article I read said it was an English savory in the 1700's. Stewed Pork with Rhubarb was a favorite dish until the 1800's. Even Thomas Jefferson had a Rhubarb salad. Iranians love tart things and my late partner would eat it raw (and not bat an eye).

@JackPedigo absolutely - my family and many other Brits find almost all modern fruit cultivars too sweet, be it apples, berries, etc. I get awful cravings for half-ripe mangoes here, and also for cranberrries etc. Funnily enough my daughter's partner is Iranian (refugee age 10 to the US) and he likes tart as well, he favours pomegranite molasses as a sweetener if at all.

@Allamanda Pomegranates (fruit and molasses) were my partners no. 1 item. She could dissect a pomegranate in no time and I have planted a hardy pomegranate tree in her memory. She would take the sour candy away from her students and pop one in her mouth and go yum while the students stared in disbelief. Her Niece once came to our house and started eating the sorrel plant like it was candy. They don't understand the westerners desire for sweet things.

BTW She, her then husband and 2 kids, came to the US when she was 24. She didn't understand one word of English. The revolution came and they were trapped here.

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