Why Strawberry Rhubarb is the Strangest Pie

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Strawberry rhubarb pie is one of the quintessential summer desserts, but have you ever thought about what really goes into it? These strange facts about the pie's key ingredients might make you think twice before you make it.

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Rhubarb can kill you

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There are two essential ingredients to strawberry rhubarb pie, but what happens when one of them can be extremely harmful to your health? In addition to acting as a laxative, rhubarb's red stalks can cause kidney stones when cooked. But it's the rhubarb plant's leaves that can be fatal. Whatever you do, don't even think about eating or cooking them – they're poisonous.

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Strawberries aren't even berries

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This pie is lie! Straw indeed! Strawberries aren't even actual berries! Oddly enough, they're actually a member of the rose family, and are are one of the few sources of ellagic acid.

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And rhubarb is not a fruit

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Many people think rhubarb is a fruit, and they're wrong. While it's prepared and eaten like a fruit, it's actually an ornamental vegetable and a member of the buckwheat family that grows in a cool season crop. You can grow these large leafy plants yourself, but be sure to note that rhubarb damaged by frost may become inedible.

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Strawberries are social plants

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Sounds strange, doesn't it? Plants can be social? This means they require both a male and female to produce a fruit. That's right, strawberries have a whole entire method of reproduction that you probably never even thought about.

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There's more than one kind of rhubarb

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It's important to know the difference between the two if you don't want to get caught by surprise. The traditional variety has a less aggressive flavor than its brighter, tarter "hothouse" counterpart.

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Strawberries are an aphrodisiac

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Whether or not you knew this one already, it's always good to have a reminder for a little setting-the-mood boost. Strawberries can be very sexy, and they're not the only food item you can add to your "menu of love."

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Rhubarb was used to treat scurvy

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"In the late 1800s, rhubarb was brought to Alaska by the Russians and used as an effective counter-agent for scurvy." – Peggy Trowbridge Filippone, Home Cooking Expert

Ben Franklin actually brought rhubarb seeds to North America, but it didn't catch on for quite a few years. Find out why the term rhubarb has also come to mean a "quarrel" or "heated discussion" and what the heck the theatre has to do with it.

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Strawberry rhubarb pie is still delicious

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Still interested in making this summer treat after learning all the weird things about it? Here are the top strawberry rhubarb pie recipes to try (some with a little twist):