Let's face it, fashions come and fashions go. No, this is not just about what coloured dress to wear this spring but about the food we eat. Varieties of food have their 15 minutes of fame, it seems like yesterday when kiwi was where it was at. Square watermelons were THE fruit to have in your shopping bag. But wait, something local is sliding back into the lime light....rhubarb. Incredible but true this plant has been around for a millennia or two. In Victorian times rhubarb had such a demand in England that a train dubbed the 'rhubarb express' chugged from Yorkshire down to London to stock the markets. However in more recent times the popularity of imports has brought tropical wonders to our doorstep and local produce was boring. Luckily for us at Fruits of Sherbrooke people are rediscovering the value, taste and nutrition of this vegetable - yes vegetable. Quite frankly we can't imagine a veggie that is more suited to pair up with raspberries, strawberries, vanilla and saskatoons. Picking has started in Edmonton, which is always a thrill in early June as the growing season is just beginning with most plants. For anyone who lives here you know that hardy plants can limit our gardening palate somewhat; no fig trees here! However, we are fortunate because rhubarb absolutley thrives here. Our guaranteed frost filled winter helps convert carbohydrates in the plant to glucose and this in turn encourages the buds to grow.
Rhubarb will go on producing until fall so that provides us with plenty to work with. Recent creations include a Grapefruit and Rhubarb Jam which has a tart, citrus twist and is perfect to start the day with! How about Rhubarb Jalapeno Jelly - mmmm, a hot punch to have with cheese or smother your roast with to give it a kick. In the world of sustainability, food fashion and my tummy, I am so relieved that rhubarb is back in stlye!