When it comes to produce, those reddish celerylike stalks never seem to share the limelight with the other stars of spring. Rhubarb is not nearly as sexy as the strawberry, nor as elegant as asparagus. Nor does it have the aphrodisiac qualities of the artichoke. Rhubarbs are a splendid sweet-sour note to add to a pie or compote. Most of our supplies come from Oregon's Willamette Valley and Washington's Puyallup Valley. You'll find two types of rhubarb in markets: The long, thin, light-colored variety is usually hothouse grown; the darker, fat stalks are usually field grown. Field-grown rhubarb usually has the best flavor, but hothouse rhubarb usually needs less sugar in, say, strawberry-rhubarb pie.
Rhubarb is selling for $2 to $2.50 per pound right now. When you get it home, wrap the rhubarb bundle tightly with a damp paper towel and plastic wrap, so the stalks don't dehydrate.
Michael Marks is the marketing manager for FreshPoint.
$2.50 to $3.00 per bunch
Tips: These look like green onions, but the bulbs have a little color to them -- and they're a little slice of culinary heaven.
San Joaquin Valley
$1.69 to $1.99 per pound
Tips: New crop Valencias are the oranges you want for juicing. They have seeds and are lighter in color than navel varieties.
Local farms, Oxnard
$1.79 to $1.99 per pound
Tips: It takes some work -- a double-shelling -- to finally get to the bright green bean inside, but it's worth it. Look for bright, shiny pods.