What I learned about the pomegranate

I love the flavor of pomegranate, especially in a good martini. Memories about a friend “fighting” with a pomegranate at the school lunch table may have prevented me from buying the whole fruit. I’m not sure why but I had the urge to purchase 2 pomegranates at the grocery store this week. Maybe it was the price of a container of pomegranate arils that influenced my choice.

I looked at one display, found another display and tried to pick the best pomegranate. I knew nothing about how to pick a good pomegranate. Many had brown spots. Some were bright in color; some dull. Some were hard; some slightly soft. I could have searched the Internet with my smart phone. I’m not sure why I didn’t.

The 2 pomegranates sat on the counter for two lonely days. I didn’t look at them. I didn’t touch them. I didn’t even think about them.

Today was the day. The day to crack open the pomegranate was here. I’m not sure why. I looked at them. I picked one up. I looked at it. But I wasn’t sure how to crack it open to get those tasty little seeds without making a mess.

The computer is my best friend in the kitchen. Wow! There was so much information about how to peel a pomegranate. There were several You Tube videos. They made it look so easy. All of them advised “do not wear white” or “wear an apron”. Hmmm! My favorite was from www.showmethecurry.com, which by the way is an amazing site to check out.

Then I wondered where these plump bundles of refreshing flavor came from. Again, my computer provided what I wanted. Originally native to Iran they were introduced to California in the mid 1700’s by Spanish settlers. Today they can be found in many parts of the world, including regions of Africa, Central Asia, and the Mediterranean Basin. In the United States, they are grown in California and Arizona.
The name is derived from the Latin words pomum meaning apple and granatum meaning seeded.

The seed juice sacs are called arils. There are 72 calories in a half-cup, 3.5 grams of fiber and 1.5 grams of protein. They are a good source of vitamins C and K, folate, and potassium. Pomegranates are one of the healthiest fruits you can choose. Depending on the source, there are studies to show the potential health benefits of pomegranates but the research for many health conditions is in it’s early stages.

So check back periodically for more information but in the meantime enjoy the wonderful flavor of pomegranates. After cracking one open and finding it’s so easy I will probably never buy one of those little $5.99 cups of seeds again.


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