January 23rd marks National Rhubarb Day, and who would we be if we didn’t acknowledge this fabulous flavor on its very own holiday? We’ve pulled together 10 facts about rhubarb to help you fully appreciate its greatness. We hope you’ll join us in celebrating this vegetable (yes, vegetable) in all its glory!
1. The earliest records of rhubarb can be traced back to 2700 BC in China, where the plant was used for medicinal purposes. A few thousand years later in 1271, Marco Polo began speaking highly of the rhubarb he found in China, but the plant didn’t become popular in the western world until the East Indian trade brought it to Europe a couple centuries later. Ben Franklin is credited as one of the first people to send rhubarb seeds/root to the States from the UK in the 1700s.
2. Many people think that rhubarb is a fruit, but it is actually a vegetable.
3. Rhubarb DRY Sparkling’s tart, lush and bold flavor notes make it a perfect pairing for comfort foods. We suggest Beecher’s Macaroni and Cheese (we are from Seattle after all!), BBQ ribs, hanger steak, bacon or soft pretzels.
4. Rhubarb is most commonly chopped up and boiled down with sugar, then thrown into a pie, but it is also used in syrups, jams, bitters, and is lovely when pickled. Oh, and this great company in Seattle called DRY makes an amazing sparkling rhubarb drink. :)
5. It is pretty darn healthy. Its stalks contain just 26 calories per cup and are rich in minerals, micronutrients and vitamins A, B, and K. BUT – rhubarb’s top leaves should not be consumed, as they contain oxalic acid, which is a naturally occurring toxin found in some vegetables.
6. Rhubarb DRY Sparkling is a fabulous mixer! Although we are still in DRY January mode, we can’t help but think about the great cocktails we’ve made with Rhubarb DRY. Bold and tart, it packs tons of flavor without being overly sweet. Its slightly sour quality helps cut the taste of alcohol, much like a citrus fruit would. Try it with rum + mint or vodka + lemon, or head to our cocktail generator, and select “Rhubarb DRY” to experience an array of mixology recipes.
7. There are people out there who are absolutely obsessed with Rhubarb. Perhaps you are one of them? We’ve affectionately (and creatively) dubbed them “rhubarb people.” We hear from them often and love it every time we do. Keep spreading the good word, rhubarb people!
8. Though not often used today, the word “rhubarb” can also mean “a heated argument or dispute,” according to Merriam Webster. As in, “Ed and Tom really got into a rhubarb during dinner last night!”
9. It is no longer just your grandma’s favorite flavor – the rhubarb trend that is on the rise! From nail polish to phone cases, we’re starting to see it everywhere. Spoiler alert: it’s both adorable and delicious.
1. Rhubarb DRY, DRY Sparkling, 2. Phone Case, Café Press, 3. Makeup Bag, Zazzle, 4. Lip Balm, Burt’s Bees, 5. Soap, Target, 6. Wristlet, Zazzle, 7. Ada It Girl, Rhubarb Fizzy Polish, Julep
10. Rhubarb DRY Sparkling was one of our first four flavors, originally created in our founder’s kitchen 11 years ago! It has been a favorite in our line up ever since… especially in the Midwest and up in Canada.
Now that you are fully educated, how will you embrace National Rhubarb Day? Shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or hashtag your social media photos with #DRYSparkling so we can see how you’re celebrating.