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Rhubarb in late August - ok to eat ??

Apologies if this has been asked before, my rhubarb has gone mad and is enormous. It’s at the edge of a flower bed in the garden and covers and shades everything else if I take my eye off it. We’ve had a massive harvest earlier in the year and I know I’m meant to leave it now to get its energy back for winter but I’ve had to thin it out somewhat today as it’s so huge. (Needs the crown halving really). 

Are the stalks I’ve taken off today ok to eat please? I was thinking of making jam but don’t want to poison anyone ! 

Seems so wrong to chuck them away if they are good to eat.

Comments

  • Katiehound
    Katiehound Posts: 7,515 Forumite
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    My understanding is that the leaves are poisonous.

    I've never grown rhubarb- tiny  garden- but I think the stalks will just be rather tough

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  • Brie
    Brie Posts: 9,816 Forumite
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    edited 24 August 2022 at 3:01PM
    I agree the stalks are likely to be tough and therefore won't get you a good result.  The test of the toughness would be how easy it is to snap.  Instant and easy - then great.  Angry Hulk type force - not so great.  That said it might still be fine for making a cordial/squash as that could be filtered to get the tough fibre bits out of the way.

    Thinking of something like this although I admit I've not tried it (& wouldn't be adding ginger in any case...)

    Rhubarb cordial recipe | BBC Good Food

    If you do go for jam I wish you best results - I loved my mom's rhubarb and pineapple jam but haven't had it for decades.

    (edit to add - technically we should be talking about the petioles, not the stalks but it's the same thing - the red straight bit that has the poisonous leaf at the top end.)
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  • twopenny
    twopenny Posts: 5,486 Forumite
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    I never had much sucess with the jam. It either didn't set or went the consistency of thick resin.

    A cordial might be nice for the holiday.
    I'm guessing but I bet you could do rhubarb gin like sloe gin. Ready for Christmas or sooner aparantly
    https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/rhubarb-gin

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  • Effician
    Effician Posts: 482 Forumite
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    We've started picking stalks from our mature rhubarb in early April and still taking stalks now for pies & crumble, no discernible difference in taste or consistency for nearly 5 months, i just wish the plant didn't grow so well, it's taking over. We split it 18 months ago & the tap root was over 2" diameter , it's now almost back to it's original size after giving it last year off.
    For over 8 years we picked from April to early Oct without issue before last years dividing rest.

  • Brie said:

    If you do go for jam I wish you best results - I loved my mom's rhubarb and pineapple jam but haven't had it for decades.

    Could I have the recipe for the jam if you don't mind sharing thank you.
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  • Apodemus
    Apodemus Posts: 3,384 Forumite
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    I picked a couple of stems a week or so ago and they were fine to eat.  Like you, they were just too big to leave in place and two stems made enough stewed rhubarb to put some in the fridge and freeze the rest. 
  • Chloe_G
    Chloe_G Posts: 316 Forumite
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    My grandmother said never eat rhubarb picked after end July!  I thought it was poisonous but I've just read that it weakens next year's crop.
  • Chloe_G said:
    My grandmother said never eat rhubarb picked after end July!  I thought it was poisonous but I've just read that it weakens next year's crop.
    I’ll be blooming glad to weaken next years crop a bit, my plant is humongous! 

    Thanks for all the advice everyone .
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