Rheum rhubarbarum


It's all about rhubarb today, the first stalks are finally here, as pink as seaside rock, - juicy and sharp and fragrant. I've spent the morning slicing it with the lethal Japanese knife which was a wedding present a few years ago. So sharp it cuts through many stems cleanly and at once, and makes quick work of a few pounds of fruit.

Rhubarb has been in cultivation since at least 2700BC. It has been a much used herb in Chinese medicine for thousands of years, and was considered so potent that it was advised to be taken in small amounts only. This has not prevented my excesive eating of rhubarb crumble. One of it's main properties is as a digestive tonic, so combined with fresh root ginger in my rhubarb and ginger vodka it surely is a perfect post feast digestif.