Fruit or vegetable ?
Although rhubarb is thought of as a desert fruit,it actually classifies as a vegetable.
Where does it originate?
It is native to China and was used for medicinal purposes,as a laxative.
What about modern history of rhubarb?
Rhubarb was first used in Britain in the 1820’s when a nurseryman convinced others to buy his plants and make deserts with the stalks.
It gained popularity and reached it’s peak just before World War II. Because of sugar shortages during the war,it lost it’s popularity that it has never recovered. It has only recently been rediscovered. Although plants were brought to the New World by early settlers,it never attained the level of popularity that the English gave to rhubarb.
Where does rhubarb grow?
Rhubarb thrives in cold wet climates. It needs to have a dormancy period so it will not grow in warm climates.
What was rhubarb used for before it was used in cooking?
The Chinese used rhubarb a purgative. It was commonly used in recent times as a laxative.
Are parts of the rhubarb plant poisonous?
Rhubarb is high in oxalic acid. The leaves are high enough in oxalic acid to be considered poisonous. The fact of the matter is someone would need to eat a large quantity of leaves to be poisoned. The stalks have a lower concentration of oxalic acid and are safe to eat. But the taste of the plant make it unappetizing to deer.