When it comes to rhubarb, few people are undecided. People either love its taste or they hate it. Voices on either side are so loud that they can easily drown out another sound: the sound of rhubarb growing.
One method of growing rhubarb is called “forced growth.” Using this method, farmers keep the rhubarb outdoors for up to two years, allowing the roots to collect and store calories. The super-charged roots are then moved to a place without light, where they continue to grow—warm, but out of season and in the dark.
The result of this method of raising rhubarb is a product that is more tender and less tart. Another result is that the plant grows so quickly that you can hear its growth with the unaided ear.
Rhubarb makes another sound you may have heard without knowing it. “Rhubarb” is a term for the sound effect of imitating the murmur of a crowd in the background. Actors in the United Kingdom are encouraged to murmur the word rhubarb repeatedly to simulate the sound of indistinct chatter. In the United States, the word used is walla, instead.