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Seasonal Products

Yorkshire Forced Rhubarb

01 January 2020

Yorkshire Forced Rhubarb was awarded PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) status in February 2010. They were awarded this status from the European Commission's Protected Food Name Scheme after being recommended by DEFRA.

Rhubarb roots are grown outdoors in the fields for two to three years, before they are lifted in early to late November to be taken into the forcing sheds. This can only happen after the roots have received enough cold which helps break the dormancy of the rhubarb crowns.

During the two years’ the rhubarb is grown outside, it requires lots of sunshine and nitrogen to build up the energy in the root as once in the forcing sheds, it receives no more feeding. The nitrogen comes from the “shoddy”, which is released slowly over a three year period. Ideal for the rhubarb.

Once bedded into the sheds, the roots are heated and supplied with the right amount of water, and three weeks later the forced crop can start to be harvested. The rhubarb is grown in complete darkness and harvested by candlelight, to keep the stems bright pink and the leaves yellow. The forced crop tends to be very tender and much sweeter than the rhubarb produced outside.

 

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