We have all been there, but let me set the scene for you.
You are at a dinner party. You are trying to impress someone and perhaps even a special someone. You have the look, the clothes, and the small talk (or smalltalk, depending on the crowd). You know which fork to use first. You know you are supposed to put your napkin on your lap. You even brought a bottle of wine (or if you are Mormon, a Jello salad). Everything is going swimmingly.
Then it is time for the rhubarb. What in the world do you do? Most people panic at this point and come across as a culinary illiterate or an ignoramus of alimentation. Not many people know how to properly select, let alone eat a piece of rhubarb. So unless you want to look like a fool I suggest you pay attention.
When to Enjoy
Rhubarb is best enjoyed in the spring. Anything past June and you are really eating just a sour piece of wood. But in April and May, you have yourself a rare indulgence…something exquisitely uncommon and magical worth its weight in gold to be enjoyed as you would a fine cigar.
Selecting the Perfect Piece
Choose a nice slender stalk—not too thick, and not too skinny. A tiny piece says, “I am a wuss. Please don’t take me seriously.” Picking a piece that is too small says to any woman that might have a smidgen of interest in you “Please overlook me for a stronger, more confident male. My genes have no right to continue existing.” Picking a piece that is too big will leave you puckered up and weeping like a little girl, thus destroying any semblance of manhood you might have had. Just pick a nice, medium sized piece for crying out loud.
This is a good piece (the dollar bill is for size reference):
Remove the leaf end and the root end. Do not eat the leaves. They are mildly toxic. From what I have read, it only takes 48 pounds of leaves to kill a single adult. Using your pocket knife, gently remove the skin by pressing the knife to your thumb while inserting the knife blade just below the skin and pulling the skin off down the length of the stalk.
Cut and serve with salt. For those of you that think salt is bad for you, trust me—you really need to eat this with salt. Eat it with dignity. Try not to cry or cough or spit while eating.
Eating a piece of rhubarb is one of the finest things a person can do—if they are good at it. Keep in mind that eating too much tends to temporarily kill all of your tastebuds. It is a small price to pay for such deliciousness, not to mention that now you can eat it and look like a pro doing it.