Origins and myths
The pomegranate is one of the oldest fruits. Native to the Middle East it prospers in the Mediterranean area. Egyptian pharaohs took them along to their tombs. In Greek mythology this fruit plays a major role. Being symbol of death as well as prosperity.
And it is prosperity almost all religions attribute to the pomegranate. From Islam to Christianity and Judaism. Apart from prosperity most cultures also attribute fertility to this fruit. Some going as far as sustaining it is an aphrodisiac.
Pomegranate: what's in a name
Let’s start with Latin. Pomum and granatum, apple and seeds, the seeded apple. So logic it hurts.
The French though claim a different origin. Pomme grenade refers to the apple from Granada, the city in Spain. Truth be told, the lion’s share of pomegranate once came from Granada. Oh, yes, guess where Granada took its name from…
Back to Latin now. Granatum also translates as intense, dark red. Which the pomegranate is. Italians still use the word granata to refer to that color. Grenadine in origin is no more than pomegranate juice.
In the kitchen the seeds are mainly used raw. There are quite some reasons why. First of all because single seeds look lovely. Little red gems. The shell are subtle but give a wonderful structure to dishes. A contrasting crunch for soft vegetables. They pop in your mouth, releasing their fruity content.
Avoid heating the seeds. They turn into an unpalatable mush. Rather serve the seeds cold or even frozen.
Pomegranate seeds are excellent in salads. Or mixed with spreads. We strongly suggest to add some seeds to a hummus toast.
It all starts with fresh pressed pomegranate juice. Easy peasy. Pure paradise. Nowadays there are some producers that sell pure and mixed bottled juice. It even comes as a flavored soft drink.
Among the alcoholic versions we should mention rosolio. A typical Mediterranean drink with a long history.
And yet a tad stronger there is pomegranate liquor. An excellent base for cocktails.
Eat yourself healthy
An ancient Egyptian saying stated that eating pomegranate kept you young. The fruit has indeed a wide range of beneficial properties. It contains vitamins, antioxidants, anti-inflammatory properties and many other.
It does though not keep you young. A precision the American government seemed due to mention. The Egyptians were wrong.
To compensate this tragic news, some more health properties. Good for blood pressure, memory and sexual performance. Cancer and Alzheimer prevention. It also mitigates arthritis.