Also known as "pieplant", rhubarb is a hardy perennial which originally came from the cooler parts of Asia, where for thousands of years it was grown for medicinal purposes. It's only much later in the 17th century that it was adopted for culinary purposes in England. Children were given a tonic made of rhubarb and soda as a blood purifier .
Rhubarb is a vegetable (it does look like a red celery plant), but it is always used as a fruit. Rhubarb's red and very acid succulent stalks can be poached or pureed to make delicious pie fillings, fools, crisps, or cobblers, alone or with strawberries and raspberries in jams, chutneys sorbets or compotes.
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