Messenger of Spring Rhubarb: The fruit that is actually a vegetable
The rhubarb period has begun. It is worth grabbing, because the young sticks are particularly tender and mild. Rhubarb is one of the first vegetables to be available from home cultivation after winter. The robust knotweed plant originally comes from the Himalayan region of Central Asia and has only been used in German cuisine for around 160 years.
Various varieties are available commercially. The acidity of red-fleshed and red-stemmed rhubarb is lower than that of pure green stalks. Therefore red variants are less bitter. Rhubarb provides only 13 calories per 100 grams. It contains vitamin C, calcium, potassium, iron, magnesium and the digestive fiber pectin. The oxalic acid contained is harmless if the vegetables are consumed in the usual quantities and properly prepared.
The rhubarb loses acidity during cooking. Spices such as ginger, vanilla and cinnamon, milk products such as vanilla sauce or the addition of orange and pineapple juice also soften the tart taste.
Rhubarb is actually a vegetable, but due to its fruity and sour aroma it is used like fruit. The classic is rhubarb cake with meringue topping. Rhubarb compote can be prepared quickly and easily. To do this, cook the chopped sticks with a little liquid and refine a vanilla bean. In addition, the stem vegetables can be combined very well with fruits such as strawberries, raspberries or bananas.
Rhabarberschorle has developed into a trendy drink for several years. Home-made it tastes even better: Bring the vegetables to the boil with water and sugar and cook for 15 minutes until they fall apart. Then press through a sieve, catch the juice and enjoy with ice cubes and mineral water.
The rhubarb season starts in April and ends in June. Fresh rhubarb can be recognized by the shiny, solid rods and fresh ends. By the way, with today's varieties of peeling is hardly necessary anymore. It is sufficient to pull the fibers from the end of the stem. Wrapped in a damp cloth, it stays in the vegetable compartment of the fridge for several days. (Heike Kreutz, aid)