Earlier this week I retweeted the mealsbyrebalance.co.uk February seasonal food guide to help you with your seasonal food shopping!
Immediately I was asked the question ‘what’s forced rhubarb?’ and immediately my eyes lit up like most people’s when they see a pizza or George Clooney.
Forced rhubarb is delicious! And something, if you have rhubarb plants, you can be doing now if you’d like an earlier crop (in about 8 weeks time) and sweeter stalks.
Rhubarb as two very clear categories when it comes to cooking:
- Forced rhubarb is better in savoury dishes as it adds a sweetness. It can also be used in desserts, however;
- Main crop rhubarb is best for this because it’s sharper and can take the sugar!
Now, that’s a very high level view and please use the different types across the board, but if you’re just starting out it’s a good rule of thumb.
What you’ll need
To force rhubarb you’ll need:
- An established rhubarb plant or one that’s had at least 2 main crops
- A large terracotta pot
- Well-rotted manure
How to force rhubarb
- Clear around your rhubarb plant and add the well-rotted manure.
- Cover with the terracotta pot, ensuring no light can get in and leave for 8 weeks.
- After 8 weeks, you should have beautiful pink stems ready to be harvested gently.
Hints and tips!
Forcing rhubarb is simple, however forcing rhubarb two years in a row should be avoided as it puts too much pressure on the plant. To get around this, plant multiple crowns to your can alternate forcing years between them.