Rhubarb is a member of the buck-wheat family, is a vegetable, but because of its use it is often thought of as a fruit
“….. in the United States, a New York court decided in 1947 that since it was used in the United States as a fruit, it was to be counted as a fruit for the purposes of regulations and duties.”
Fresh rhubarb stalks should be firm, crisp, tender & either cherry red or pink in colour. The younger stalks usually have the most tender & delicate flavour. Choose stalks which are fairly thick but avoid those that are extremely thick or very thin, because they may be rough, fibrous & stringy. Avoid rhubarb that has a wilted & flabby appearance
Rhubarb wilts rapidly at room temperature & must be kept cool. Store stalks in the crisper section of the refrigerator & use within a few days
Only the stalk of the rhubarb is edible because the leaves contain oxalic acid. If eaten in quantity they coud be fatal. The flavour of raw rhubarb is strongly acidic, but is pleasingly tart when cooked & sweetened. Rhubarb is popular in pies, beverages, sauces, salads, puddings, jams etc.