The pink princess of the British spring, ‘forced’ rhubarb is a splendidly strange crop – one that loves nothing more than the frosty embrace of a northern winter. Up in the cold, wet ground of the West Yorkshire Rhubarb Triangle, while the rest of us are toasting by the fire, growers are busy keeping a deep, dark secret. In the eerie darkness of their so-called ‘forcing’ sheds, they cunningly coax rhubarb roots into early bud. Reaching for the light, the plants burst forth, with a just-audible crackle and pop, resulting in the most tender of stems.
Like generations before them, farmers still gather their harvest by the gentle light of candles. The precious tonic extracted from the rhubarb root was once so prized it could command several times the price of opium and, by the railway age, the fruit had become such a fashionable delicacy that it commanded a dedicated train service, dubbed the Rhubarb Express, to speed it to market in London, from where it was whisked off to European capitals.
Loaded with natural antioxidants, rhubarb extract is known for its natural cleansing properties.
Britain in a Bottle Noble Isle’s rhubarb extract is sourced from E. Oldroyd & Sons, a sixth-generation rhubarb farm in the Yorkshire Triangle, overseen by the ‘high priestess of rhubarb’, Janet Oldroyd.
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