Rhubarb belongs to the knotweed (Polygonaceae) family and is not really a fruit but a stalk vegetable instead.

Since the fruity sour stalks are made into mostly sweet dishes, such as stewed fruit jam or cake, it is considered as a fruit. Rhubarb stalks grow up to 70 centimetres high topped by broad leaves. However, only the stalks are consumed. The leaves contain toxic substances and are not meant for human consumption. It is recommended to harvest rhubarb only until the end of June, so that the plant can regenerate itself the rest of the year.

Rhubarb is rated as a low calorie food: 100 grams of rhubarb has only 12 calories. The sour taste is due to the high fruit acid content, as in apple, lemon or oxalic acid. Oxalic acid reacts with calcium very easily, therefore sometimes causing a furry feeling on the teeth when it is eaten. Therefore, it is recommended to consume rhubarb together with calcium-rich dairy products, nuts or almonds.  Peeling rhubarb and boiling it in water also reduces its acidity.

Season: April to June

Nutritional Value: Rhubarb – Swiss food composition database


Did you know...?

Oxalic acid is toxic in larger quantities. Poisoning symptoms such as cramps or circulatory problems appear when over 1 ½ kilos of rhubarb are consumed.

1 portion a day corresponds to:

1 to 1 ½ rhubarb stalks