With forced rhubarb *finally* back in season, we’ve been on a fact-finding mission. It’s a pleasure for us to present to you, 10 Facts You Probably Didn’t Know About Forced Rhubarb. The title is probably a bit too long, but anyway, educate yourself;
1) Forced rhubarb was discovered, accidentally, in Chelsea, in 1817. It was another 60 years before it made it’s way ‘up north’ to Yorkshire.
2) Rhubarb originally hails from Siberia, and thus obviously prefers a cold climate. In order to grow, it’s also needs plenty of water and a good supply of Nitrogen.
3) The area between Leeds, Wakefield and Bradford has been labelled ‘The Rhubarb Triangle’ due to the perfect weather conditions for Forced Rhubarb to grow. The plant really thrives from being in the shadows (and the frost pocket) of the Pennines.
4) The vivid colours of Forced Rhubarb range from a lovely salmon pink to dark blood red.
5) Yorkshire Forced Rhubarb comes into season between January and March.
6) Rhubarb crumble (& custard) is excellent. That is a fact.
7) The ‘Rhubarb Express’ that ran from Yorkshire to London, used to ship around 200 tonnes a day, until rhubarbs popularity dwindled post-war and the trip was eventually halted during the mid 1960’s.
8) During the renaissance of Yorkshire Forced Rhubarb, the PDO (Protected Designated of Origin) ruled that no-one other than the rhubarb growers of ‘The Rhubarb Triangle’ in Yorkshire can use the name ‘Yorkshire Forced Rhubarb’. This was ruled to protect the reputation of the product in the mass market.
9) Rhubarb is one of the vegetables which contain the least calories. It also contains plenty of goodness including dietary fiber, poly-phenolic anti-oxidants and several B-complex vitamins such as riboflavin and vitamin B-6!
10) Rhubarb also contains good levels of Vitamin-K, which helps limit neuronal damage to the brain and therefore Rhubarb has an established role in the treatment of Alzheimers Disease.
There you have it! I hope you learnt as much as we did. Send in your rhubarb-related dishes and we’ll feature them on our social media!