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Dunkeld Rhubarb

There can surely be few articles of food which have actually come down in price since the eighteenth century nevertheless this does seem to have happened with rhubarb, that very common root which we take for granted today. In the Statistical Account for Dunkeld we read this intriguing comment:

" In 1770 some seeds of the Rheum palmatum  were sent from Peterburgh, by Dr Mounsey, to his Grace The Duke Of Atholl. They were planted, and considerable attention was paid to the culture of that root. Rhubarb, to the value of £160 sterling, was sold in one season, to a London druggist, at the rate of 8 shillings to the Ib. In short, full proof was afforded, that rhubarb may be raised and dressed in Britain, equal in all its qualities, to what is now, at so high a price, imported from the East Indies and from Russia and Turkey."

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