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The Rhubarb Triangle

By Linda Tancs

Most of the rhubarb eaten in Britain is grown in Yorkshire. Specifically, the area is marked by three points of what’s called the Yorkshire (Rhubarb) Triangle, which are Wakefield, Morley and Rothwell. Native to Siberia, the plant thrives in West Yorkshire, a “frost pocket” with nitrogen-rich soil and cold, wet winters. After a growing season outdoors in the cold, the plants are brought into sheds where they’re plunged into darkness, a process called “forcing” that produces tall, strong, straight stems with smaller leaves. You can hear the crack and pop of the plant as it grows in forcing sheds, a phenomenon that has triggered its own tourism industry, including the Rhubarb Festival in Wakefield this weekend.

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