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Rhubarbs: The Whats, Whys and Hows of this Unusual Food (Plus Pie!)

Scrumptious strawberry rhubarb is a staple of summer pies. And while it’s safe to say we are all delightfully familiar with strawberries… what about rhubarbs? For a lot of us, it’s a food that ends up in our desserts, but we don’t know much about it. Let’s remedy that, shall we?

What Is a Rhubarb?

Rhubarbs are beautiful bright pink or red stalks that look a bit like celery (different family, though). Their stalks are the only edible part. (The leaves are poisonous, so seriously, don’t eat them!) As to whether it’s a fruit or a vegetable, the answer is…YES! Wait, what? Rhubarb is a vegetable, but because it is most often eaten in desserts and like a fruit, a New York court in 1947 legally declared it a fruit. Who knew?

This beautiful stalk is tart! Really. Tart. It has notes of sour and bitter and definitely needs a sweet component to make it most enjoyable. While rhubarb can be eaten raw safely, expect your jaw to tighten significantly should you give it a try.

Why Is Rhubarb Used in Desserts?

If its tartness sends a tingling sensation through your teeth, why use it in desserts? There’s a great reason. Oftentimes, desserts – especially fruit desserts – can be too sweet. A muffin, cobbler or dessert can easily become overly sweet if it’s not properly balanced. Rhubarb with strawberries brings an incredible balance and complexity of sweet, tart, bitter and textural contrasts to make a pie or other dessert delightful.

Essentially, strawberries and rhubarbs are proof positive that the whole is more than the sum of its parts. They’re fine apart. They’re incredible together.

How Are Rhubarbs Best Prepared?

There are numerous ways in which rhubarbs can be prepared, both sweet and savory. The stalks can be used in salad dressing (you won’t even need vinegar for this “vinaigrette”), transformed into a chutney, dried, roasted or pureed. Rhubarb can be made into a variety of desserts, including cakes, muffins, bars or our personal favorites: pies!

If you’re looking for a fantastic strawberry rhubarb pie with minimal effort, look no further than Papa C Pies! Known for our incredible desserts and equally incredible customer service, Papa C Pies is delighted to meet your rhubarb curiosities and needs. If you prefer tart desserts, try our rhubarb pie. If you prefer the complexity and balance of tart and sweet, you cannot go wrong with our strawberry rhubarb pie.

Review the online menu to check out our full offering of sweet and savory pies and other desserts. Feel free to call 615-414-3435 to find out what’s in stock. Nationwide shipping is available for both of our rhubarb pies!