Pomegranates: The Jewel of Fruit
According to the Crush team, this delectable fruit has been voted the most photogenic of all foods. But there is more to this blushing beauty than meets the eye.
The pomegranate owes its name to the Latin Pomum Granatum, or Seeded Apple, and hails from the Mediterranean and the Middle East, although it is now widely cultivated in warm areas all around the world. The hand grenade and the colour, garnet, conversely owe their names to this ancient fruit. They have also been graced by the enviable “super food” label; assisting in detox and anti-aging. Pomegranates are immune boosters, cancer fighters and also a great anti-oxidant.
The hard, leathery exterior breaks open to reveal rows of ruby-coloured gems, crimson juice with an exotic, slightly floral, aroma and a tart flavour. These little gem-like fruits are called arils and they are kept in place by a white, astringent membrane. Eat them straight from their protective shell, or elegantly whack the halves of the pomegranate over a bowl with a wooden spoon – be careful not to lose a single, juicy aril.
For centuries, pomegranates have been used in various traditional cuisines along the Mediterranean. Sprinkle the fresh gems over a fruit salad, or add it to couscous before serving. Dried arils are often added to muesli or salads for an extra crunch. Drink the juice, preferably unsweetened, or add it to smoothies, dressings and marinades. Grenadine is a thickened syrup made from pomegranates and is most famously used in cocktails like a Tequila Sunrise, adding a striking red colour. The molasses is also used extensively in Middle-Eastern cooking.
So next time you see those strange-looking fruits, buy one and remember, whack elegantly with the wooden spoon!