What is it?
Rhubarb is the edible stalk portion of the rhubarb plant. They can range in color from light pink to dark ruby red, and some varieties can even be yellow or green. The texture of rhubarb is comparable to celery, but having a much stronger, tart flavor. Only the stalks of the plant are edible, the leaves and roots are considered toxic and have no culinary value.
What does it taste like?
Eaten raw rhubarb is extremely tart, with a slight sweetness, and has a crunchy texture like celery. This changes depending on how it is prepared. It becomes softer the longer it is cooked, and the sour flavor will mellow.
What to do with it?
Rhubarb can be prepared as a vegetable, but is more commonly featured in sweet recipes like pies, cobblers, and jams. This is because of rhubarb’s extremely tart flavor, so it is typically cooked or baked with sugar or some other kind of sweetener and paired often with strawberries. If you’re wanting to experiment with rhubarb in more savory dishes, try adding it to soups or stews that feature rich, salty flavors that counterbalance the tartness.
How to store it?
Typically when bought at the store or markets rhubarb will already be trimmed, but if any leafage remains make sure to trim that before storing. Put whole stocks in a plastic or paper bag with one end open to encourage air flow, and refrigerate. Whole stalks can keep for 2-3 weeks. If stalks start to become soft, refresh them by letting them stand in a glass of water in the fridge until their crisp texture is revived.