Rhubarb is technically a vegetable as it doesn’t contain seeds like fruits.
For this reason, rhubarb is almost always stewed in sugar, honey or other sweeteners. These transform hard and bitter raw rhubarb into softer, more-edible stewed rhubarb.
This affects how long stewed rhubarb lasts in the fridge.
The high sugar content of stewed rhubarb affects how well it can be refrigerated. The more sugary a stewed dish is, the quicker it needs to be consumed.
The cold conditions of the fridge slow the breakdown of food, but don’t stop it entirely. Even after extensive cooking and correct storage, some bacteria will always find their way into foods.
Bacteria naturally cause food to break down over time, and rhubarb is no exception. This is why frozen food can last for many years while refrigerated foods typically need to be eaten in days or weeks.
Homemade stewed rhubarb can be refrigerated for up to one week in the typical home fridge.
However, it’s best to consume stewed rhubarb much sooner than that. After one or two days it can begin to change texture. The chunks of rhubarb will become softer and the colour may change as well.
You may also notice watery liquid seeping out of your stewed rhubarb during this time. This is not a health risk, but it isn’t as tempting to eat.
On the other hand, store-bought stewed rhubarb can potentially last much longer in the fridge. This is because many mass-produced deserts contain preservatives, which extend the longevity of foods.
They may also contain other additives, which help to prevent stewed rhubarb from losing colour, texture and taste as quickly as homemade stewed rhubarb.
Stewed rhubarb is best consumed straight after it’s prepared. Putting it in the freezer and defrosting at room temperature just before you want to eat it is a more reliable method.
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