Thursday, September 27, 2007
Rhubarb: An Uncommon Vegetable
Okay, I'm downright confused. I admit to being a Yankee. A Yankee living in West Georgia. But, what is it with Southerners?? They've never tasted (and in some cases, never heard of) RHUBARB?!?!
I wrote, what I thought was a very poignant memoir about my grandmother. She not only tended an amazing garden filled with tomatoes, corn, cabbage, well, all the typical Southern Indiana garden stuff...she also grew rhubarb from which she'd make the best rhubarb pie this side of the Mississippi.
I decided to read my story, remembering rhubarb pie... to my critique group. When I'd finished reading, I quietly took my glasses off and sat there, expectantly, waiting for the critiques to roll.
The first question took me by surprise. No, surprise isn't strong enough. It was jaw dropping.
Tell me I didn't just hear that. What's rhubarb? Do these people come from some cave-dwelling society? Some never-before-seen culture that hasn't cut into a golden crust and pulled out a forkfull of the sweet/sour mushiness that is rhubarb?
Please, people! Tell me that someone out there has, at the very least, heard of rhubarb! That's all I want. And, don't...I repeat, DON'T tell me about your great-aunt's strawberry-rhubarb pie. That's just wrong.
* Rhubarb's Appearance In America:
Early records of rhubarb in America identify an unnamed Maine gardener as having obtained seed or root stock from Europe in the period between 1790-1800. He introduced it to growers in Massachusetts where its popularity spread and by 1822 it was sold in produce markets.