Yorkshire Forced Rhubarb
Food Features

Yorkshire Forced Rhubarb in the Shops

It is January which means one thing to cheer me up, and that is the arrival of Yorkshire Forced Rhubarb into the shops. The season is short, at latest March, so make the most of it while you can.

What is Yorkshire Forced Rhubarb

Rhubarb was only grown outdoors in the UK until the 19th century and harvested from spring through to autumn. By sheer accident at the Chelsea Physic Garden in London, builders covered a rhubarb crown with soil, and when they removed the soil weeks later, they discovered the crown had forced itself to life with tiny, tender stalks peeping out. Hence the process of forcing rhubarb began.

Forced rhubarb varies from the outdoor variety in that it is slender, tender and sweet. The colour of the forced stalks vary from pale pink to a deep ruby red and are a welcome cheery sight on a cold January day for sure.

The forced rhubarb is also vulnerable to many elements including not enough cold weather, too wet, too dry and all must be harvested by hand hence the premium price, but it is worth it.

You can read the full story behind Yorkshire Rhubarb in my book, The Great Book of Rhubarb  or over on my food pages on Spruce Eats.

Would love to hear what you think ....

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