Facts about rhubarb:
1) Although rhubarb is technically a vegetable, in the United States, it has been classified as a fruit since 1947, when the Customs Court decided that it should be classified based on the manner in which it is eaten.
2) Rhubarb has been used medicinally for thousands of years, but has only been eaten as a food for a few hundred.
3) Rhubarb leaves are not edible.
4) Although the stalks of rhubarb are occasionally used to savory purposes, one is much more likely to encounter rhubarb in a sweet preparation.
5) Rhubarb is currently widely available at farmer’s markets. If cooking up a rhubarb dish of your own sounds a little too aggro, behold below! Four of Boston’s best rhubarb dishes!
•At Vinalia, rhubarb is presented in one of its most classic preparations: baked with strawberries in a pie. Strawberries are starting to come into their own right about now, so this promises to be a seasonal delight.
•28 Degrees serves pound cake topped with a rhubarb and pink peppercorn compote and strawberry ice cream. The flavor profile here is just astounding: tart, hot, and sweet all at once.
•Beacon Hill Bistro presents the area’s most interesting dessert preparation of the ‘barb: a rhubarb clafouti, consisting of rhubarb bits and batter baked in a dish and topped with the ubiquitous strawberries (this time, macerated) and ice cream.
•Rhubarb gets decadent and savory at Meritage, where the sauteed foie gras comes topped with strawberry-rhubarb compote and watercress.