Punica granatum

The shrub that bears the delectable fruit that we call pomegranate is native to the area where Iran now sits and was cultivated by ancient civilizations in India and throughout the Mediterranean. Egyptian writings dated to 1500BC mentioned using pomegranate to expel internal parasites and treat infections. Ancient Greek lore says that the pomegranate sprang from the blood of Adonis, and it is because she couldn't resist a little taste that Persephone had to return to the Underworld.

Now it is cultivated wherever the climate will allow, including California and Arizona, having been brought to the Americas by Spanish settlers in the late 1700s. Pomegranates are in season in the Northern Hemisphere from September through February and from March to May in the Southern Hemisphere.

The Pomegranate is technically a berry with many seeds, each surrounded by an aril of juicy deliciousness and glittering like rubies clustered together in its leathery rind.

Pomegranate symbolizes blood, that which we shed when we are mortally wounded, and that which we shed to signify our fertility.

Pomegranate seeds may be removed by slicing the fruit in half and inverting it to reveal the seeds or by scoring each half several times and then holding it over a bowl and smacking the rind with a spoon to eject the seeds. If you put the seeds in water, they will sink and the inedible pulp will sink.

You can eat the seeds whole. The aril is juicy and delicious and the seed within has a satisfying bit of crunch. They are wonderful in salads, mixed into yogurt or added to pilafs.

Pomegranate juice is also tasty, sweet and tart, and was traditionally the primary ingredient of grenadine syrup and can be the basis of various sauces, glazes and marinades.

Pomegranates are rich in vitamins C and K and folate and fiber, polyphenols and anthocyanins (the juice likewise, with the exception of the fiber).

Element(s): Earth Water
Planet(s): Venus Mercury
Zodiac Sign: Taurus Scorpio
Season: Winter
Sabbat: Samhain

Gender: Masculine

fertility, fecundity, luck, divination, rebirth, abundance, wealth, beauty, longevity, fidelity, divination

Recipes that contain Pomegranate

Notes from the Test Kitchen

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