Yorkshire rhubarb is at it’s best when forced to make thin pink stalks (once tasted you will never be forced to eat it again). It grows all around Yorkshire but is at its best when grown in a triangle between Wakefield, Ardsley and Ossett then forced in the low sheds built for the purpose.
Your rhubarb will flower like this if you don’t eat it first! Ornamental varieties of rhubarb are not grown in the ‘Rhubarb Triangle’ as rhubarb is a serious crop grown under strict conditions to produce thin pink stems from February to make into delicious pies.
The rhubarb triangle is not a gardening device but a geographic location between Wakefield, Morley, Dewsbury and Rothwell where the majority of the worlds supply of forced rhubarb is grown. The rhubarb grows in forcing sheds while it is still winter and is ready before your garden crop grown outdoors. You can force your own garden rhubarb by covering the crown of the plant with a large pot filled with loose straw to keep it dark and warm.
There is a book of Walks in the Rhubarb Triangle ‘It includes delicious recipes from Barbara Bell for rhubarb bread and butter pudding, rhubarb cheesecake and rhubarb triangles, which are a type of flapjack.’ There is even a rhubarb festival each February.
From them apples in Saltaire ‘The classic culinary use for rhubarb is in a crumble. Gently stew rhubarb chopped into two or three centimetre chunks with a splash of water or orange juice, with sugar added to taste. The cutting acidity of the rhubarb must be preserved, so be careful with the sugar. Top with a simple crumble, made with 160g of plain flour cut with about 110g of diced butter, with maybe 25g of sugar added. Cook in a hot oven for twenty-five minutes and eat hot, maybe with cream or yoghurt.’
Rhubarb Recipes have a range of different recipes including Rhubarb Ginger Smoothie
75g cooked rhubarb, retain some for garnish
40g stem ginger (chopped), 1 tablespoon ginger syrup
50g low-fat vanilla ice cream, ice cubes to serve
Place the cooked rhubarb, ginger, syrup and ice cream in the blender and blend until smooth. Pour into a glass over ice and garnish with extra rhubarb.
Yorkshire is still the place to grow, buy and cook your rhubarb so give your taste buds a treat. Wakefield is the centre of Yorkshire’s rhubarb triangle
See Yorkshires Imperial Measures
Forced Rhubarb growing in Yorkshire
Yorkshire Rhubarb good enough to eat
Yorkshire Forced Rhubarb has been elevated to the same status as Champagne and Parma Ham. Yorkshire Forced Rhubarb was awarded Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) status by the European Commission’s Protected Food Name scheme. Now we can ask Melton Mowbray ‘who ate all the pies?
Rhubarb Flower Head by i_gallagher CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
rhubarb-1 by nalsa CC BY-NC-SA 2.0