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A worker picking rhubarb in Lofthouse, West Yorkshire, where booming demand for the often ridiculed plant has left growers struggling to meet demand. The delicacy's newly fashionable status has been enhanced by the chef Marco Pierre White, who ser ves itcaramelised in thin puff pastry at his London restaurant. David West wood, one of 19 growers in the "rhubarb triangle" between Bradford, Leeds and Wakefield, expects to harvest 200 tons in March. Candlelight provides the ideal level of heat and li ght for rhubarb.

Photograph: Craig Easton