The Star-Herald

How the rhubarb became a Maine kitchen staple

It is not too much of an exaggeration to make a case that rhubarb, that earliest of springtime perennials, is the ultimate New England plant.

Just consider: rhubarb is both hardy and stubborn, and once established in our rocky soil, it is there for the duration. A traipse around Maine fields may well turn up the sites of once-proud farmhouses, all but vanished except for the foundation stones and the rhubarb patch. And rhubarb, so sour it’ll make your mouth pucker, is an acquired taste.

It needs a lot of sweetening to make it delicious, but for those that love it, part of the excitement of spring is the chance to use rhubarb’s sour-sweet, stringy stalks in pies, crisps, coffee cakes, shrubs and much more.

[Tips to grow rhubarb in Maine]

“If anybody can make a rhubarb taste good, it’s got to be a Yankee,” Sandy Oliver, Maine food historian and longtime BDN cooking columnist, said. “They’re not going to give up.”

The County is pleased to feature content from our sister company, Bangor Daily News. To read the rest of “How the rhubarb became a Maine kitchen staple,” an article by contributing Bangor Daily News staff writer Abigail Curtis, please follow this link to the BDN online.

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