Monday, November 1, 2010

Pomegranates: Fall's Seeded Apples

Happy November 1st!

This is a familiar sight just about everywhere you go this time of year ...

But if you will look closely in the produce section of your local grocery store the next time you go, nestled among the apples and oranges, you will probably find a bin filled with this pretty fruit ...

For those of you who do not recognize it, it is a Pomegranate.

The name pomegranate literally means "seeded apple," and it is sometimes referred to as Chinese Apple.

The pomegranate's rustic beauty has long been an inspiration for poets, writers, painters, and sculptors. Its beautiful rich color and interesting shape make it a perfect addition to Fall and Thanksgiving centerpieces, wreaths, and garlands on mantels and holiday tables.

The Bible and writings of Homer mention pomegranates, and ancient myths cite the fruit as favored by the gods. Pomegranates, bursting with seeds, symbolize fertility in Chinese, Greek, Persian, Roman, and Hebrew lore. They symbolize hope in Christian art, and according to Jewish tradition, pomegranates are a symbol of prosperity.

The ruby-colored fruit we refer to as seeds are called "arils." Each aril is a delicious sac of sweetly tart juice that surrounds a seed. Pomegranates contain 840 arils that are compartmentalized between shiny, tough membranes. Isn't it amazing that each fruit contains the same number of arils!

When I was a child, my grandfather had a pomegranate tree is his backyard and in the Fall, he would pick one and break it apart and feed me the plump little juicy seeds hidden inside. Every time I see a pomegranate, it brings back memories of those times with my grandfather, and I wanted to share the experience with our granddaughter Avery Grace, who is five. Last weekend, Avery got her first taste of a pomegranate, and loved it.

When I was in Wal-Mart one day last week, I saw a display of pomegranates which had a brochure featuring an easy way to eat them. They can be quite messy if you open them with your fingers — the juicy little arils pop and juice goes everywhere (just ask Avery!).

I scanned the brochure so I could share this easy way to enjoy pomegranates, without the hazard of being splattered with the juice.

The arils can be enjoyed for seven to ten days after opening the pomegranate. Just make sure you store and refrigerate them in a sealed container.

[Note: The first two photos and some of the background information were borrowed from the Internet]


Deb said...

love the information...I've never tried a pomegrate..may just have to now...

Jenni said...

I enjoy pomegranates, too! (It has been a while since I had one, though)

Thanks for the "Pom tutorial" and the pretty pictures!

(Aren't they supposed to be full of antioxidents and good things for you, too?)

nanny said...

I love pomegranate, but haven't bought one in years. I ate them all of the time when I was a child. I remember getting a bite of the membrane and it was so bitter...ha

I am going to fill my fruit bowl with these....thanks for this post!!!

racheld said...

My children used to carry them to school in their lunches, and all the other kids wanted a bite. We probably moved the sales figures for quite a few stores back then.

I've never done the cut down the sides thing, nor the bowl of cold water---I have, however, done the whack-a-half-with-a-wooden-spoon a la Nigella.

And sometime, in the store, look for one with the little pointed crown still intact---finding a whole crown is Good Luck.

The Quintessential Magpie said...

This reminds me of home, Janie! Such a sweet post, and such an informative one. I learned much about the pomegranate I didn't know. Thanks for sharing...


Sheila :-)

Tonja said...

I have never tasted one of these. Have always seen them and wondered how to eat them and what they tasted like. I think it is amazing that they each have the same # of arils. That speaks loudly as to the Master Designer.