If you don't like to fool with seeds, then this is not the fruit for you. Pomegranates are composed of exactly 840 seeds, inside of a sac of delicious juice covered by a thin skin. The seeds are separated by a thin white membrane which is bitter. The rind and the membranes and rind are not usually eaten due to the high tannic acid content.
. The pomegranate is one of the oldest fruits known to man and is native to Persian. Ancient Romans tanned and used the rinds as a form of leather. The Moors brought the fruit to Spain round 800 A.D. Granada was named for the pomegranate, which became their national emblem. The French named a familiar explosive a grenade after the seed-scattering properties of the pomegranate. The special troops formed by the French military who used these grenades were called grenadiers.
The pomegranate reached America by way of the Spanish conquistadors. The fruit is still not as popular in America as it is in the Middle Eastern countries. Europe and the Far East.
The pomegranate can be found in the legends and lore of many different cultures. Some say that it was the pomegranate which was the "apple" referred to in the Bible leading to the expulsion of Adam and Eve from the garden of Eden.
With its abundance of seeds, the fruit has long been a symbol of fertility, bounty, and eternal life, ancient Egyptians were buried with pomegranates in hope of rebirth. Berber women used pomegranates to predict the amount of their offspring by drawing a circle on the ground and dropping a ripe pomegranate in the center. The amount of seeds expelled outside the ring allegedly prophesied the number of her future children. Mohammed believed pomegranates purged the spirits of envy and hatred from the body and urged all his followers to eat goodly amounts.
Selecting a quality product
Early fall is the best time to find pomegranates in the stores, usually available into early winter. The
fruit is about the size of an orange. The rind color can range from yellow-orange to deep reddish-purple.
Fruits should be plump and round, heavy for their size, with a deep color and should be free of cuts
and blemishes. Larger fruits tend to have more juice.
Unlike bananas, pomegranates do notl ripen once picked they will not continue to
develop sugar so be sure they are ripe before buying. However, commercial crops are harvested before
they are fully mature, in order to avoid excess bruising during transport.
Whole fruits can be stored for a month in a cool, dry area or refrigerated up to two months. The seed
pips can be frozen in an airtight bag up to one year. Fresh juice should be refrigerated and used within
two to three days.
Early fall is the best time to find pomegranates in the stores, usually available into early winter. The fruit is about the size of an orange. The rind color can range from yellow-orange to deep reddish-purple.
Fruits should be plump and round, heavy for their size, with a deep color and should be free of cuts and blemishes. Larger fruits tend to have more juice.
Unlike bananas, pomegranates do notl ripen once picked they will not continue to develop sugar so be sure they are ripe before buying. However, commercial crops are harvested before they are fully mature, in order to avoid excess bruising during transport.
Whole fruits can be stored for a month in a cool, dry area or refrigerated up to two months. The seed pips can be frozen in an airtight bag up to one year. Fresh juice should be refrigerated and used within two to three days.
Pomegranate Yogurt Dip
1 large pomegranate
2 cups chilled plain yogurt
2 scallions, finely chopped
1/4 cup pomegranate juice
1/4 cup fresh cilantro*, finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon salt
Fresh mint sprigs
*You can replace cilantro with Italian parsley if cilantro smells bad to you.
Separate seeds from the pomegranate. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the yogurt, pomegranate juice, scallions, cilantro, and salt. Gently fold in all but 2 tablespoons of the pomegranate seeds. Place in serving bowl and garnish with mint and seeds. Chill for 30 minutes.
Makes 2 cups.
1/2 cup chopped scallions
1/2 cup chopped fresh mint or 1 tablespoon dried mint
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
1 long seedless cucumber, peeled and diced
Seeds of 2 pomegranates
1 fresh lime, peeled and sliced, with inner skin removed. In serving bowl, combine ingredients and mix thoroughly. Season to taste with salt.
2-3/4 pound fryer chicken
2 cups walnuts, finely chopped
3 tablespoons shortening
3-1/2 cups water
1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 cup fresh pomegranate juice
3 teaspoons butter
2 teaspoons tomato sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
Prepare chicken for frying. Saute chicken with poultry seasoning in shortening until light brown, set aside. In a large pot saute the onion in 3 teaspoon butter until golden brown. Add tomato sauce and saute for a few minutes. Add walnuts to the onions and saute over medium heat about 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Add water, remaining seasonings, lemon juice, and pomegranate syrup. Cover and let cook on low about 30 minutes. Taste the sauce and add sugar if needed. Arrange browned chicken pieces in the sauce, cover and let simmer 20-25 minutes. Serve over white rice.
1 large eggplant*
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic
1/2 cup pomegranate syrup
1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
*When using Asian eggplant you don't have to salt it or peel it, just slice and use.
Cut eggplant into 1/4 inch slices and place on paper towels. Sprinkle slices with salt, weight them down with heavy plates or a board for 30 minutes, then pat them dry with paper towels. Lightly brush with olive oil and place eggplant slices on grill. Grill them for 3 minutes on each side, or until they are lightly browned on both sides. Remove from grill and arrange the eggplant overlapping on a serving dish. In a mortar, crush garlic cloves with 2 teaspoons salt to a paste. In a non-metallic bowl, combine the garlic paste and pomegranate syrup. Spread a little of the mixture on each eggplant slice. Sprinkle the slices with minced parsley and pomegranate seeds for garnish and chill covered.
4 firm baking pears
1 cup pomegranate syrup
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 cinnamon stick, 2 inches in length
4 whole cloves
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. Peel pears, halve lengthwise, and core. Arrange pears cut side down in a ceramic baking dish. In a non-metallic bowl, combine pomegranate syrup, lemon juice, cinnamon, and cloves. Pour the mixture over the pears and place in pre-heated oven. Bake for 45 minutes, basting frequently, or until pears are tender. Serves 4.