Thursday, May 03, 2007

Seasonal eating - rhubarb

The Guardian

Given that rhubarb seems so quintessentially English, you might be surprised to learn that it originates in China and Tibet. It was first imported in the 16th century for its medicinal properties as a purgative. Since the 1880s it has been grown using a method of production known as "forcing" - which sounds decidedly cruel but actually just consists of growing it indoors in the dark and warm. The process was discovered by a careless gardener who left a flowerpot on top of one of his plants, only to find the shoots grew much thinner and were much tastier. In Yorkshire's rhubarb triangle (not a joke, see here if you don't believe me) it is still harvested at night, by candlelight.


No comments: