As a Korean-American foodie who resides in West Oakland, I’m lucky that there’s a slew of fine eateries not too far from our home all along Telegraph Avenue in Temescal.
Fruits and vegetables are undeniably important to a healthful diet. But there’s another side to some of these plants that, thankfully, most people never see: the tiny amounts of toxin within them. Lucky for us, healthy human bodies are remarkably good at filtering out toxins from everyday foods.
A vegetable that often masquerades as a fruit in sweet dishes, rhubarb is a true harbinger of the season, appearing in April and, if we’re lucky, lasting until July. You can save some for an off-season fix, too, because it freezes and thaws beautifully.
Spring has sprung and with it arrives our little diva princess, the strawberry. And let me introduce her BFF, tart to her sweet, rosy pink to her ruby red. Yes, I’m talking about rhubarb, the prettiest pink stalk you ever did see, ready right now to be turned into strawberry-rhubarb preserves for your spring table.
Rhubarb. I have loved it for years. And why not? It’s a tart, refreshing, and completely extraordinary thing when handled properly.
Of course, it is also highly seasonal. It’s one of the first bits of produce to show up in markets when the ground warms up in the spring, it hangs around in the summertime, when the living is supposedly easy, but it has a predictable habit of disappearing when the weather gets rough. It’s a fair weather thing. And, though most commonly lumped together with fruits, it is, in fact a vegetable– a truth I’ve found very difficult to grasp over the past few years.