About Forced Rhubarb
- Until the early 19th century rhubarb was only grown outdoors in the field.
- Forced Rhubarb gets its name by the process it is grown. Crowns are taken indoors, then deprived of food and light. This then encourages the crown to grow stalks.
- Forced rhubarb is slender, sweeter and more tender.
Did you know?
- The process of forcing rhubarb was in fact discovered by accident when some rhubarb roots were accidentally covered by soil by workmen at Chelsea Physic Garden in 1817. When soil was removed, pink, tender and higher quality shoots of rhubarb were found. The flavour of this rhubarb was preferred and commercial growers in London started blanching rhubarb and lifting roots into buildings. This concept was expanded in Yorkshire where they brought the rhubarb 'on' in huge sheds - whereby the popularity of rhubarb grew. The producers were centralised between Leeds, Wakefield and Bradford and became to be known as the 'Rhubarb Triangle'.
- A train known as "The Rhubarb Express" would make its journey from Yorkshire - delivering freshly harvested rhubarb to London Markets every night for the season. It ceased its journeys in the mid 1960's due to the post war decline in forced rhubarb popularity.