Of the several hundred thousand heirloom vegetable varieties throughout the world, only a handful qualify as all-time greats, with qualities so universally sought after that they’re prized by gardeners everywhere. Ranking high on this list is ‘Victoria’ rhubarb (Rheum rhabarbarum). This variety has established the gold standard by which to judge good rhubarb: large, fat stems, bright red skin, lack of stringiness, and a tart, apple-gooseberry flavor with a hint of lemon or grapefruit (depending on your soil). Used in everything from jams and fruit tarts to soups and sauces (even ice cream), rhubarb is probably one of the most adaptable garden crops you can grow. And because it’s a perennial, it will yield years of copious harvests with little trouble and few pests.Although rhubarb is technically a vegetable, Americans tend to treat it as a fruit, because our view of the plant has been shaped by the sweet and sour desserts of English origin. But beyond England, rhubarb is used in a wide range of dishes. As an example of the sort of creative dishes that pair rhubarb with meat (yes, meat!), see Persian Lamb With Rhubarb. It’s an Iranian recipe, and a delightful stew that can be served over rice or pasta.