Can you eat rhubarb after its flowers?

In this brief guide, we will consider the question “can you eat rhubarb after its flowers?. We will also discuss what rhubarb is, the safety of eating rhubarb, what rhubarb does taste like, why rhubarb is flowering, what causes rhubarb, and how to eat rhubarb and the recipes to prepare from them.  

Can you eat rhubarb after its flowers?

Yes, you can eat rhubarb after its flowers. The stems and leaves of your rhubarb are unaffected by the flowering process, thus, the stems can still be cooked and enjoyed, anyhow you like them. Similarly, the leaves still remain poisonous.

What is rhubarb?

Rhubarb refers to the fleshy, edible stalks (petioles) of Rheum species and hybrids of the Polygonaceae family, which are cooked and eaten. Rhubarb refers to the entire plant, which is a herbaceous perennial with short, thick rhizomes. 

It is a spring vegetable and one of the few that is still true to its season. The beautiful pink stem of this plant is edible, however, it is almost often prepared with a lot of sugar due to its sourness.

Is it safe to eat rhubarb? 

It’s perfectly safe to eat rhubarb stalks either raw or cooked. Eat it raw to get a taste of its natural flavour. The stems of rhubarb are edible, but you must avoid the leaves and roots, which are high in oxalic acid, a harmful toxin that can induce a variety of symptoms. The leaves are deadly not just to humans, but also to most animals. 

What does rhubarb taste like?

The raw rhubarb has a sour taste that is comparable to that of lemon. However, when they are cooked, sugar is added to make them more appetising. It then has a lovely tartness to it, akin to a green apple, with a very slight vegetal celery flavour.

Why is rhubarb flowering?

The process of a rhubarb flowering is bolting or going to seed. It’s completely typical for rhubarb to go to seed. The rhubarb plant is doing what all plants are supposed to do, which is to reproduce. Thus, the plant is flowering for the propagation of new ones.

What causes rhubarb to flower?

Even though flowering in most plants is a natural phenomenon, other factors may induce the process. There are a few factors that can affect how frequently you get flowering rhubarb.

  • Rhubarb comes in a variety of colours, and some types blossom more than others. Heirloom cultivars have a higher flowering rate than modern cultivars. Rhubarb kinds that flower more frequently include Victoria rhubarb, MacDonald rhubarb, and Red Crimson rhubarb.
  • Maturity – To reproduce by seed, plants must attain a particular level of maturity. The maturity of a rhubarb plant occurs a few years after it is planted. The more a rhubarb plant gets older, the more it goes to seed.
  • Heat – Cooler temperatures are beneficial for the rhubarb plant’s growth. Rhubarb can start blossoming if the spring is particularly warm. 
  • Stress – A rhubarb can be forced to blossom by stress. Stress can be caused by a shortage of water, pests, fungus, nutrient deficiency, or animal damage. Anything that causes the plant to feel threatened will cause it to blossom.

How to eat rhubarb?

  • Rhubarb is popularly used in strawberry-rhubarb pie. The sweet berries balance the sourness of the rhubarb, and the rhubarb, when cooked with sugar, helps gel strawberries so they don’t turn into a sloppy mess when you slice the pie.
  • Rhubarb is used in jam or compote, with or without strawberries. 
  • They are also used in a variety of sweet pastries, ranging from pies and tarts to cakes and cookies.
  • Rhubarb can be used in a variety of savoury dishes in addition to desserts such as their use in tagines instead of preserved lemon, in chutney, and in braises like short ribs.

What are some recipes prepared from rhubarb?

Rhubarb in combination usually with strawberries have been used in several recipes. Some great desserts from the vegetables include:

  • Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie
  • Rhubarb Crumble
  • Rhubarb Custard Pie
  • Strawberries and Rhubarb Shortcake
  • Strawberry Rhubarb upside down cake

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we have considered the question “can you eat rhubarb after its flowers?. We have also discussed what rhubarb is, the safety of eating rhubarb, what rhubarb does taste like, why rhubarb is flowering, what causes rhubarb, and how to eat rhubarb and the recipes to prepare from them.  

Citation

https://www.foodnetwork.com/how-to/packages/food-network-essentials/what-is-rhubarb
https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/edible/vegetables/rhubarb/rhubarb-bolting.htm