FEBRUARY: RHUBARB

BRITISH, SEASONAL AND SUSTAINABLE PRODUCE CHAMPIONED EACH MONTH BY CHEF CRAIG HENNESSEY AT THE ROBIN HOOD INN

CHAMPION OF THE MONTH The start of the Forced rhubarb season provides a welcome break in the fresh produce when there are few new British ingredients to grab our attention.


Eagerly anticipated in the Yorkshire triangle, the prime season is quiet brief.

The quality is exceptional. Growers cover the rhubarb crowns in winter to produce early growth of sweet pale pink stems.


A small area of nine square miles in West Yorkshire has been granted Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) status in 2010.

(much like Parmesan and Stilton)


It is highly regarded by chefs and caterers on account of its complex flavour, low acidity, health benefits and dazzling colour.

You may not know that the rhubarb is grown without light ('forced') in dark muggy sheds.


I've visited these sheds. The atmosphere is warm, humid and bizarre lit by candlelight, marked by the squelch of boots in the soil, the creaking of the rhubarb as it grows and the snapping of the picking process as the stalks are tugged from the root.


Wellocks search for the most special ingredients for chefs and caterers and now offer home delivery nationwide.


THE FACTS

Forced rhubarb is full of goodness, so not only are you getting a delicious vegetable but a healthy one too:

It has proven health benefits & contain ideal levels of oxalic acid, which helps to cleanse and detoxify the body, and high concentrations of polyphenols - special molecules in plants with powerful antioxidant properties.


Rhubarb is a good source of magnesium and a very good source of dietary fibre & vitamin C.

It is a very good source of vitamin K1, providing around 26–37% of the RDA in a 100g serving. also containing calcium, potassium and manganese. It is also low in saturated fat, sodium and very low in cholesterol

what you eat can make a huge difference to your cholesterol and triglyceride levels and your heart health.


Whether your cholesterol has crept up over the years or you have a genetic condition, eating rhubarb can help to lower your blood pressure, prevent diabetes and keep to a healthy weight. It can help you feel good too.

FROM THE BAR:

We are spoiled for choice when it comes to getting rhubarb in to drinks.

locally Eva organics produce a delicious rhubarb and apple juice


For a great cocktail we recommend to fill a copa glass with ice and add


50ml Bedrock rhubarb gin

250ml Eva organics rhubarb & apple juice

125ml fevertree tonic

add Hay! straws for a sustainable cocktail

CHEF SAYS...


BUYING Look for firm but tender stalks with striking pink colour and pale leaves. Thinner stalks are not necessarily more tender; in fact thicker specimens can often be delicious.


STORING Kept in the fridge, fresh rhubarb will stay in reasonable condition for 1-2 weeks. Raw and cooked rhubarb freeze well.


COOKING

Note that rhubarb leaves are poisonous; they should never be eaten and always be thrown away or composted. Rinse the stalks and remove the poisonous leave before use. Cover the stalks in caster sugar with grated ginger and bake in a moderate oven, or poach in a thick sugar syrup or and use in jellies, sorbets or fools, or even a sweetened compôte or chutney to serve with mackerel, roast pork, venison or sausages.

When it comes to wine pairing, it’s the sour tang of rhubarb – caused by oxalic acid – that needs to be tamed and can make many dry wines taste harsh.

The key is to go for a wine with some sweetness, Our Hárslevelű is a perfect choice as the residual sugar will balance that acidity.

Late harvest wines – will complement both the rhubarb fruit and vanilla flavours.

If you like your dry white wines spicy and aromatic, you will love Hungary’s hidden gem – the Hárslevelű grape. -Rose Murray Brown "The Scotsman"

Hárslevelű is a richly flavoured grape variety from Hungary. It is usually blended together with Furmint in the Tokaj-Hegyalja region to produce the excellent Tokaj wine.

However Hárslevelű can also be vinified dry, making a more herbaceous, full bodied style of wine. Modern winemakers are experimenting with Hárslevelű, to make deliciously honeyed dry whites with great success, similar to Austria’s Gruner Veltliner.


Wines made from Hárslevelű have remarkable depth with tones of linden leaf, pear blossom and honey, pollen, chestnut and elderflower. It is distinctively aromatic but never overly perfumed.


Our Debrői Hárslevelű is from the Eger wine region. Grown on the slopes of the Matra National Park in Northern Hungary. Although producers do not hail it as their top wine,Its honeyed, floral character is a welcome change to new world bargain wine.

There is not much Hárslevelű found in the warmer climates of the New World, as the grape is sensitive to drought. However, It is also grown in Germany, Slovakia & South Africa.

LOCAL DELIVERY


We now offer FREE DELIVERY our delicious wine in our local area, including:

• Brampton

• Penrith

• Longtown

• Carlisle


Select 'Localfree' at checkout - its that simple!

f you are eco conscious and flexible? This delivery option is for you!

Select 'ECOFLEX' at checkout - its that simple!


Join our regular monthly delivery to receive your wine for FREE within 30 days.


Our new delivery service allows you to enjoy delicious Hungarian wine while helping to reduce pollution & protect the environment. We do this by reducing the amount of packaging required & by having our delivery drivers plot the most efficient route.

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