The 23rd of January is Rhubarb Pie Day.
Today celebrates the pie plant, the plant that makes those sweet but sour pies with juicy chunks of face-puckering rhubarb in them.
Those who thought ahead last spring and froze some rhubarb get to make a pie today. For anyone else, well, more than one newspaper columnist has noted that it’s somewhat ridiculous to have this day taking place in the dead of January:
“January 23 is National Rhubarb Pie Day. What lunatic put Rhubarb Pie Day in January? ‘Honey, I’ve dug a path out to the garden, chipped the ice off the dead remains of last summer’s rhubarb plants so now we can have pie!'” — Idzerda, Catherine W. Asked and Answered Column. Janesville, Wisconsin: The Janesville Gazette. 5 July 2004. Page B1, col. 1.
Though perhaps if you are in Australia or New Zealand, you might be able to source some at some green grocers or step out into the backyard for a few stalks. If you are in England, you might possibly be able to get some very early forced rhubarb from forcing sheds.
In June, there’s also a Strawberry Rhubarb Pie Day, but today is for those who like their rhubarb straight in a pie on its own, not mixed with strawberry, or something else.
Today is also, coincidentally, Pie Day.
Activities for today
- Make a rhubarb pie;
- look for rhubarb pie on sale at supermarkets;
- look for slices of rhubarb pie being offered at cafes;
- if you live in a temperate climate, resolve to plant some rhubarb this spring in a sunny corner of your garden.
The first mention of a “Rhubarb Pie Day” in January that CooksInfo is aware of appeared in a horseracing column in London, England, in 2002:
“National Rhubarb Pie Day Handicap Chase.” — Tomorrow’s Southwell racecard with latest jockeys. London: Evening Standard. Tuesday, 22 January 20002. Page 66, col. 1.
National Rhubarb Pie Day. Seattle, Washington: The Stranger (newspaper). 23 January 2018. Accessed July 2021 at https://www.thestranger.com/events/25728501/national-rhubarb-pie-day