Rhubarb...Local, Tradition, Delicious.
In the United States the stalks are often cut into small pieces and stewed (boiled in water) with added sugar, until soft. Little water is added, as rhubarb stalks already contain a great deal of water. Rhubarb should be processed and stored in containers which are unaffected by residual acid content, such as glass or stainless steel. Spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger are sometimes added. Stewed rhubarb or rhubarb sauce, like applesauce, is usually eaten cold. Pectin, or sugar with pectin, can be added to the mixture to make jams.
A similar local preparation, thickened with cornstarch or flour, is used as filling for rhubarb pie, tarts, and crumbles, leading to the US nickname "pie plant", by which it is referred to in many 19th-century US cookbooks, as well as by American author Laura Ingalls Wilder in her short novel The First Four Years.
In recent times rhubarb has often been paired with strawberries in the US to make strawberry-rhubarb pie and jam, though some rhubarb purists jokingly consider this "a rather unhappy marriage".
In former days, a common and affordable sweet for children in parts of the United Kingdom and Sweden was a tender stick of rhubarb, dipped in sugar. It is still eaten this way in western Finland, Norway, Canada, Iceland, the Faroe Islands and Sweden, and also some other parts of the world. In Chile, Chilean rhubarb, which is completely unrelated, is sold on the street with salt or dried chili pepper.
Rhubarb can be used to make a fruit wine or sima. It is also used to make compote. Being a bit sour, it is very refreshing and can be drunk cold, especially during the summer.
Rhubarb Crisp Recipe - A Great Recipe to Pair With Our Local Rhubarb
Serves 4 || Preheat oven to 375°
- 8 c rhubarb cut into 3/4" pieces
- 1.5 c sugar
- 1/2 c flour
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- Stir together and put in 9x13 pan
- 1 c flour
- 1 c quick oats
- 3/4 c brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 c melted butter
Instructions for the Streusel:
- Combine flour, quick oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and melted butter until it is coarsely mixed. Sprinkle streusel over rhubarb mixture.
- Bake at 375° F for 35 minutes.
Enjoy with a tall, frosty glass of milk or dollop of ice cream, whichever you like better.