When you look at a few rhubarb stalks, you may think that it is a vegetable, not a fruit. In fact, until 1940s, it was considered a vegetable. Then, since rhubarb was used as a fruit in the United States, it was classified as a fruit.
Rhubarb grows in crisp stalks with large leaves. The stalks can be eaten in pies and jams, but rhubarb leaves are poisonous so make sure you do not eat them. These plants like cool, damp areas, and experts have traced them back to China, Mongolia, Siberia, and other cold places, where they were often used as medicine.
Rhubarb stalks, rich and tart, are most commonly sliced and put in pies, jams and other desserts or stewed with sugar. When the stalks are sliced into pieces and mixed with sugar then stewed, spices such as cinnamon are added. Ginger also pairs well with rhubarb. Apples or strawberries may also be cooked with to sweeten. After the slices soften, they can be made into jam. The mixture could also be cooked until mushy and then used as filling for pies, pastries, and other sweets. Rhubarb is most often eaten in these sweet tangy ways, though it can be used in savory foods as well as desserts.
Apart from being used in delicious foods, rhubarb is also commonly used for medicine. When eaten, it is good for the digestive system, liver and gall bladder, and can help cure diarrhea. Some think that it even improves your appetite if you eat a little before meals. Rhubarb can also be used externally to treat burns.