This post needs a home

Rumor has it that by the mid 1600’s the cost of rhubarb powder


June 19th, 2014

No comments

Do You Prize or Despise It

The general feeling about rhubarb in Minnesota is about 90 percent favorable, and a very vocal 10 percent unfavorable, which is fine. I’ve always been jealous buy canada goose jacket cheap of the South, and the way they have this distinct cuisine which people can react to you hate okra, you love it; you hate chitterlings, you love them; you hate shrimp and grits well, actually, no one hates shrimp and grits. Canada Goose Outlet We have something to forge a food identity around: rhubarb, the okra of the north.

Dara Moskowitz Grumdahl (St. Paul, Minnesota food and wine critic).

Let canada goose uk shop Me Tell Canada Goose Coats On Sale You a StoryThe story of rhubarb starts long ago in Siberia where its root has been used for thousands of years for digestive problems. Marco Polo was aware of it in 1271 when he travelled to China. Rhubarb was as highly valued as tea, silk, Canada Goose Jackets and spices on the Silk Road the Canada Goose canada goose outlet sale online trade route from Asia to the canada goose uk outlet Mediterranean Sea.

By the 14th century, merchants in France were paying 10 times more for powdered rhubarb root than for cinnamon. Rumor has it that by the mid 1600’s the cost of rhubarb powder was double the price of canada goose store opium in England and more costly than saffron, the most expensive spice in the world.

Rhubarb root powder was highly prized by medics and apothecaries one could say that successful cultivation was more fervently sought than the Holy Grail. Finally in 1777 a druggist named Hayward successfully created durable, potent root stock from Russian rhubarb seeds; at long last, rhubarb was finally available to everyone.

But, note that the stalk and leaves of the rhubarb plant were simply being tossed Canada Goose sale away. It wasn’t until the mid 18th century in England that anyone thought to cook the stalk (petiole) of the rhubarb plant. What made the difference, you might canada goose ask? Well, with slavery, the sugar cane market in the Caribbean was flourishing. Sugar, once canada goose uk black friday a highly canada goose clearance priced commodity, was now within reach of the everyday cook and so the highly astringent rhubarb stalk could finally be tamed and sweetened and consumed.

(Please keep in mind that only the stalks are edible. The leaves are highly toxic. DON’T EAT THEM!).

In 1770 Benjamin Franklin sent a case of rhubarb root from London to his friend John Bartram, an early American botanist and horticulturist. In a letter to a friend, Bartram described the wonderful tarts that could be produced with Siberian rhubarb:

“All you have to do is to take the stalks from the root, and from the leaves; peel off the rind and cut them in two or three pieces, and put them in crust with sugar and a little cinnamon; then bake the pie, or tart: eats best cold. It is much admired here, and has none of the effects the roots have. It eats most like gooseberry pie.”

And Now, Back to TodayAnd that takes us back to Canada Goose Online today, and back to Dara Moskowitz Grumdahl. In an April 2013 article for Saveur Magazine, she described her introduction to the cultivation of rhubarb in her new home in Minnesota:

I arrived in Minnesota for college in the last months of 1988 and never looked Canada Goose Parka back. Upon graduating I realized you could buy a house canadian goose jacket with an attic that smelled like a barn, and a covered porch a real Victorian era house. So I did. Then I headed to the garden center for my first real purchases as a landholding buy canada goose jacket Midwesterner. I wanted a rosebush and a rhubarb patch. cheap canada goose uk Just like canada goose coats on sale Willa Cather had.

But my friend Mitch told me that you can’t buy rhubarb plants just anywhere; usually people just had them. Well, what then? His mother knew of a farm stand. And there they were: strawberry hued rhubarb plants growing in plastic gallon milk jugs. Now bear with me, because here cheap Canada Goose things get dull. The rhubarb went in the ground and thrived. That’s what rhubarb does. Whether you’re in Minnesota or Tibet, Missouri or Latvia, England, Alaska, or Iran, rhubarb grows like a weed pretty much anywhere with canada goose factory sale usable soil and a hard freeze in the winter, which the plant needs to thrive. But now things get interesting again, because at my local farmers’ market, and at all of uk canada goose outlet those in the rest of the snowbelt, this weediness makes rhubarb one of the superstars of early spring. That’s when bundles of rhubarb stalks appear alongside ramps, fiddlehead ferns, and wild watercress. They mark the true end of winter, the beginning of the edible outdoors, the start of local cooking becoming exciting, even exuberant, again.

And MeI love rhubarb tart, tangy ruby red rhubarb. It’s one of the first plants to pop up in my Springtime garden. Actually, it’s the only food crop that canada goose coats appears in my garden at any time uk canada goose of year. I live in “deer country”.

Bambi canada goose clearance sale and company don’t just wander through occasionally. They live here. In the morning they munch on the salal, at noon they frolic through the flower beds after a short nap on the back lawn, and in the evening they bed down under the cedars.

Wash and dry the rhubarb stalks. Pare with a vegetable peeler to remove the tough, stringy skin. Cut into lengths that will fit inside 16 ounce (pint size) jars.

Fill your jars with the prepared rhubarb. Two and 1/2 pounds rhubarb, trimmed and cut should be enough to fill four 16 ounce jars.

Combine the sugar, vinegar, salt, coriander, peppercorns, and bay leaves in a large non reactive saucepan with 3 cups of water. Bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer 3 minutes. Remove from heat; ladle brine into the jars, placing1 bay leaf in each jar. Cool, cover and refrigerate for at least 1 day. Add rhubarb slices and toss until all slices are covered with sugar cornstarch mixture. Cut butter into canada goose black friday sale flour and sugar with a pastry blender until mixture has the appearance of coarse crumbs. Place this crumble mixture atop rhubarb in pastry shell, spreading to evenly cover rhubarb.

Chill prepared pie in refrigerator for one hour. (This resting time will allow the cornstarch to begin to thicken the pie filling).

After one hour, preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Bake pie in preheated oven for 50 minutes or until crumble topping and pastry edges appear golden brown.

Rhubarb ChutneyThis chutney is wonderful with roast pork, turkey thighs, duck, or goose. (The tangy bite of rhubarb, vinegar, and spices is a perfect foil to the rich meat flavors).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *