Once again we shall
See the snow melt
Taste the flowing sap
Touch the budding seeds.
Smell the whitening flowers
Know the renewal of life.
~From an Anishnabeg (Ojibway) thanksgiving for spring.
Rhubarb has been grown for a long time in Asia as a medicinal plant. It originated from Siberia or Tibet and its Latin name signify barbaric roots. It is likely due to it’s infamous name that was not used in cuisine until the early 1800s. Today, there are two main species grown for culinary usage, Rheum Rhabarbarum and Rheum Rhaponticum.
Even if rhubarb is a vegetable, it is almost always used as a fruit to make pies, jams and compotes. Rhubarb may be harvested in the spring or fall but in the spring the quality is at its best. It is appreciated for its acidulous taste and the tannin that makes your mouth pucker up. Only the stalks are eaten and you should never eat the leaves; they have been associated with cases of poisoning due to their high concentration of oxalic acid.
Rhubarb is rich in potassium, iron, magnesium, calcium and in vitamin C and A. It is said to be astringent, laxative and purgative.
In Chinese medicine it is used as a cooling food to remove toxins and heat and helps blood circulation.
It also reduces vata when use a little at a time.
Creamy Roasted Rhubarb with Maple Syrup.
1 lb rhubarb, trimmed and roughly chopped
2 teaspoon unsalted butter
Plain or vanilla yogurt