Trans. Hort. Soc. 2: 258 (1822)
LXVIII. On the Advantages of Blanching Garden Rhubarb for culinary Purpose
By THOMAS HARE, Esq. F. L. S. &c. Assistant Secretary.
Read May 7, 1816.

THE advantages derived from blanching Garden Rhubarb for culinary purposes are two-fold, namely, the desirable qualities of improved appearance and flavour, and a saving in the quantity of sugar necessary to render it agreeable to the palate, since the leaf-stalks when blanched are infinitely less harsh than those grown under the full influence of light in an open situation. The following accident led to the observation of this fact.

Early in the spring of 1815, a trench was dug in the Chelsea Botanic Garden, a part of which ran through a bed of Rhubarb; and the mould, according to the common practice, was thrown up in thick heaps upon the sides of the trench. At a period somewhat later than that at which the leaves of the Rhubarb usually begin to appear, the Rhubarb, which had been deeply covered on the sides of the trench, was observed to be heaving up the mould in large clods, and at length developing its natural character. The stalks which had thus become blanched were submitted to the ordinary treatment for the table, and were found to possess the peculiar advantages which have just been noticed.

See also: Lazenby 1905

Rhubarb Bibliography