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Rabarbía

Rhubarb-infused caramel from Iceland gives the ancient veggie a new taste

by Evan Orensten in Food + Drink on 05 April 2011

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Nicknamed the "pie plant," rhubarb is an ancient vegetable known as much for its medicinal qualities during the Liang dynasty as it is currently popular for its unusual tart flavor—perfect for desserts. The stalk is also interestingly a cold weather crop, making it ideal produce for the difficult climate of Iceland, where a few years ago students from the Academy of Arts put it to use in hard candy caramel.

Working with the nonprofit Farmers and Designers United initiative, the then second-year students created Rabarbía—a "factory and a laboratory in one" that experiments with new ways of using rhubarb. The consortium created a tasty toffee-like candy called Rhubarbbrittle, which contains real bits of the vegetable without overpowering the buttery sugar flavor.

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With equally delightful packaging based on the colorful rhubarb plant itself, Rhubarbbrittle is a fresh take on the primitive vegetable. It sells at specialty shops around Iceland for ISK 1290 (just over $11).

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