Call it Piestengel like the locals do, or rhubarb like everyone else, June 6th in the Amana Colonies will be a fun day as this German community celebrates everything rhubarb. Rhubarb Day is one of the Amana Colonies’ new events in 2015 and it celebrates a plant that is found in almost every garden in the seven villages of this historic landmark. The plant is so important in the Colonies that over the years it has received its own name; Piestengel. The name is a mix of both English and German with Pie, (the English) referring to the most common use of the plant, and Stengel, the German word for stalk.
Rhubarb is traditionally one of the first plants of the spring and has found its way onto the dessert table of every restaurant in the Colonies over the years. During Rhubarb Day the restaurants will be rolling out some new dishes, both sweet and savory, to join the classic rhubarb pie on the menu.
A classic Amana drink not to be missed is rhubarb wine. The local residents have been making it for generations. In the early years you could only try it if you knew someone, but the wineries have been making and selling it since the early 1960's. Most of the wineries will gladly give you a sample of it or any of their other wines along with some special treats you’ll only find on this day. Look for a sample of a Rhubarb Wine Cake, Fruit Compote Deluxe (made with both rhubarb and cherry wine) and a Rhubarb Sangria. One winery will even have a special food and wine pairing class that evening featuring rhubarb as one of the pairings.
This mini-festival includes special demonstrations, games, music, live theater, and of course, the star of the show, rhubarb, in many different forms. You will be able to indulge in rhubarb smoothies, frappes and cakes/bars. Rhubarb scented candles and soap along with samples of jams and jellies. The local brewery is even making a limited edition Piestengel Pilsner.
Rhubarb Day in the Amana Colonies promises to be a great time!