Tart and tangy rhubarb has flourished in America for two centuries, although it is native to Asia where as early as 2700 B.C. it was used medicinally. Rhubarb thrives in cool weather and it’s one of the first plants to mature each year. Prime time for rhubarb is April through September.
High levels of oxalic acid render rhubarb’s leaves inedible; it’s the plant’s thin stalks that are prized for their tangy flavor. To balance its unique sour taste and astringency, rhubarb is usually enjoyed along with something sweet—think strawberries.
Rhubarb is often called “pie plant” in the U.S. because it’s so closely identified with strawberry-rhubarb pie. As it turns out, Americans love this delicious duo so much that the pastry-wrapped treat has its own “holiday.” June 9 is National Strawberry Rhubarb Pie Day. Celebrate by savoring EatingWell’s Strawberry Rhubarb Pie .