Monday, 25 February 2013

Feast


It's a little known fact that the area just south of Bradford - a triangle between Morley, Leeds and Wakefield - is a major rhubarb growing area, celebrated for its Yorkshire Forced Rhubarb (now awarded EC Protected Designation of Origin status like Champagne and Parma ham).  For the past 170 years, rhubarb has been grown here, in long dark sheds that force early growth to produce the delicate pink, sweet stems (see top photo), which are traditionally harvested by candlelight.  I love it, though it is quite expensive - about £2.50 for six stems. The tender forced stems are very different from the much tougher stuff that people grow outside in gardens and allotments.

This association has given rise to an annual Rhubarb Festival in Wakefield, a food festival where you can sample all manner of delights made from rhubarb, from cakes through pickles to alcoholic drinks - as well as lots of other choice local foods. There are cookery demonstrations, real ale, music and morris dancing. Tours of the rhubarb sheds can be arranged too.  It's all good fun and a bright, colourful lift to the spirits in the middle of cold, grey February, often considered to be England's most depressing month. If the horsemeat scandal isn't enough to turn you vegetarian, maybe this colourful veg would.

7 comments:

  1. What a wonderful festival. When I visit Paris one if the first thing I do is head to Berthillon Ice-Creamerie for a rhubarb ice-cream.... It's the loveliest creamy sweet flavor with a slight taste of tart.
    Vibrant fresh pics.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I would not turn vegetarian, but those beautyful vegetable displays are quite inviting!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I know where to come when I need some extra colour in my day. Delicious photos.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Great looking local, fresh, fruit and veg - Buy Local.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Beautiful food photos Jenny. THe only person I ever knew who grew rhubarb was my grandfather. His parents were from Yorkshire, and he was born on the ship between there and Ellis Island. I guess they brought their love of gardening rhubard with them and passed it along.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I want to shop there! Blood oranges....yum!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Beautiful paintbox of vegetable colors! I'm interested to know about the rhubarb. It was always growing in my parents garden in England, gooseberry bushes too, not to my taste as a child. Here in the US the "tooth" is a little sweeter and these things are hard to find now I'm ready for them!

    ReplyDelete

No WV here but I've enabled comment moderation on older posts so I don't miss any of your messages. I love reading them - thank you! And thanks for visiting my blog.