Pomegranate Stories

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Thomas Jefferson planted pomegranates at Monticello in he had them from George Wythe of Williamsburg. After the pomegranate is opened by scoring it with a knife and breaking it open, the seeds are separated from the peel and internal white pulp membranes. Separating the seeds is easier in a bowl of water because the seeds sink and the inedible pulp floats. Freezing the entire fruit also makes it easier to separate.

Another effective way of quickly harvesting the seeds is to cut the pomegranate in half, score each half of the exterior rind four to six times, hold the pomegranate half over a bowl, and smack the rind with a large spoon. The seeds should eject from the pomegranate directly into the bowl, leaving only a dozen or more deeply embedded seeds to remove. Pomegranate juice can be sweet or sour , but most fruits are moderate in taste, with sour notes from the acidic ellagitannins contained in the juice.


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Grenadine syrup long ago consisted of thickened and sweetened pomegranate juice, now is usually a sales name for a syrup based on various berries, citric acid, and food coloring, mainly used in cocktail mixing. In Europe, Bols still manufactures grenadine syrup with pomegranate. Dried whole seeds can often be obtained in ethnic South Asian markets. These seeds are separated from the flesh, dried for 10—15 days, and used as an acidic agent for chutney and curry preparation. Ground anardana is also used, which results in a deeper flavoring in dishes and prevents the seeds from getting stuck in teeth.

Seeds of the wild pomegranate variety known as daru from the Himalayas are regarded as high quality sources for this spice.

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Dried pomegranate seeds, found in some natural specialty food markets, still contain some residual water, maintaining a natural sweet and tart flavor. Dried seeds can be used in several culinary applications, such as trail mix , granola bars, or as a topping for salad, yogurt, or ice cream. In the Caucasus , pomegranate is used mainly for juice. In Greece , pomegranate is used in many recipes, including kollivozoumi , a creamy broth made from boiled wheat, pomegranates, and raisins , legume salad with wheat and pomegranate, traditional Middle Eastern lamb kebabs with pomegranate glaze, pomegranate eggplant relish, and avocado -pomegranate dip.

Pomegranate is also made into a liqueur , and as a popular fruit confectionery used as ice cream topping, mixed with yogurt , or spread as jam on toast. In Mexico , they are commonly used to adorn the traditional dish chiles en nogada , representing the red of the Mexican flag in the dish which evokes the green poblano pepper , white nogada sauce and red pomegranate seeds tricolor. In India 's ancient Ayurveda system of traditional medicine , the pomegranate is frequently described as an ingredient in remedies.

People who choose to discard the seeds forfeit nutritional benefits conveyed by the seed fiber and micronutrients. The most abundant phytochemicals in pomegranate juice are polyphenols , including the hydrolyzable tannins called ellagitannins formed when ellagic acid and gallic acid bind with a carbohydrate to form pomegranate ellagitannins , also known as punicalagins.

Compared to the pulp, the inedible pomegranate peel contains as much as three times the total amount of polyphenols, [44] including condensed tannins , [47] catechins , gallocatechins and prodelphinidins. The higher phenolic content of the peel yields extracts for use in dietary supplements and food preservatives. Pomegranate seed oil contains punicic acid Pomegranate ellagitannins are under preliminary research for their potential health benefits. Despite limited research data, manufacturers and marketers of pomegranate juice have liberally used results from preliminary research to promote products.

Ancient Egyptians regarded the pomegranate as a symbol of prosperity and ambition. It was referred to by the Semitic names of jnhm or nhm.

… and in diversity bind them

The Greeks were familiar with the fruit far before it was introduced to Rome via Carthage , and it figures in multiple myths and artworks. The myth of Persephone , the goddess of the underworld , prominently features her consumption of seven pomegranate seeds, requiring her to spend seven months in the underworld every year. During these seven months, while Persephone sits on the throne of the underworld beside her husband Hades , her mother Demeter mourned and no longer gave fertility to the earth.

This was an ancient Greek explanation for the seasons. According to Carl A. Ruck and Danny Staples , the chambered pomegranate is also a surrogate for the poppy's narcotic capsule , with its comparable shape and chambered interior.

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The significance of the pomegranate in ancient Greece. | It's All Greek

She embodies both aspects of the dual goddess, life-giving and death-dealing at once. The Titan Orion was represented as "marrying" Side , a name that in Boeotia means "pomegranate", thus consecrating the primal hunter to the Goddess. In the 5th century BC, Polycleitus took ivory and gold to sculpt the seated Argive Hera in her temple. She held a scepter in one hand and offered a pomegranate, like a "royal orb ", in the other.

In Jewish tradition, it has been seen as the original "design" for the proper crown. A pomegranate is displayed on coins from Side. The ancient Greek city of Side was in Pamphylia , a former region on the southern Mediterranean coast of Asia Minor modern-day Antalya province , Turkey. Within the Heraion at the mouth of the Sele , near Paestum , Magna Graecia , is a chapel devoted to the Madonna del Granato , "Our Lady of the Pomegranate", "who by virtue of her epithet and the attribute of a pomegranate must be the Christian successor of the ancient Greek goddess Hera", observes the excavator of the Heraion of Samos , Helmut Kyrieleis.

In modern times, the pomegranate still holds strong symbolic meanings for the Greeks. When Greeks commemorate their dead, they make kollyva as offerings, which consist of boiled wheat, mixed with sugar and decorated with pomegranate. Pomegranate decorations for the home are very common in Greece and sold in most home goods stores.

The pomegranate is mentioned or alluded to in the Bible many times. It is also included in coinage and various types of ancient and modern cultural works. For example, pomegranates were known in Ancient Israel as the fruits which the scouts brought to Moses to demonstrate the fertility of the "promised land".

According to the Books of Kings , [74] the capitals of the two pillars Jachin and Boaz that stood in front of Solomon's Temple in Jerusalem were engraved with pomegranates. Solomon is said to have designed his coronet based on the pomegranate's "crown" calyx. Some Jewish scholars believe the pomegranate was the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden. It is traditional to consume pomegranates on Rosh Hashana because, with its numerous seeds, it symbolizes fruitfulness. The pomegranate appeared on the ancient coins of Judea, and when not in use, the handles of Torah scrolls are sometimes covered with decorative silver globes similar in shape to "pomegranates" rimmonim.

Pomegranates symbolize the mystical experience in the Jewish mystical tradition, or kabbalah , with the typical reference being to entering the "garden of pomegranates" or pardes rimonim; this is also the title of a book by the 16th-century mystic Moses ben Jacob Cordovero.

In the earliest incontrovertible appearance of Christ in a mosaic, a 4th-century floor mosaic from Hinton St Mary , Dorset, now in the British Museum , the bust of Christ and the chi rho are flanked by pomegranates. They are often woven into the fabric of vestments and liturgical hangings or wrought in metalwork. Pomegranates figure in many religious paintings by the likes of Sandro Botticelli and Leonardo da Vinci , often in the hands of the Virgin Mary or the infant Jesus. The fruit, broken or bursting open, is a symbol of the fullness of Jesus' suffering and resurrection.

In the Eastern Orthodox Church , pomegranate seeds may be used in kolyva , a dish prepared for memorial services , as a symbol of the sweetness of the heavenly kingdom. It is grown in Pakistan and is also imported from Afghanistan. The largest market for Afghan pomegranates is Pakistan , followed by India. The pomegranate is one of the main fruits in Armenian culture alongside apricots and grapes. Its juice is used with Armenian food, heritage, or wine. The pomegranate is a symbol in Armenia , representing fertility, abundance, and marriage. It is also a semi-religious icon.

For example, the fruit played an integral role in a wedding custom widely practiced in ancient Armenia: a bride was given a pomegranate fruit, which she threw against a wall, breaking it into pieces.

The Pomegranate as a Symbol

Scattered pomegranate seeds ensured the bride future children. The Color of Pomegranates , a movie directed by Sergei Parajanov , is a biography of the Armenian ashug Sayat-Nova King of Song which attempts to reveal the poet's life visually and poetically rather than literally.

Pomegranate is considered one of the symbols of Azerbaijan. The festival features Azerbaijani fruit-cuisine mainly the pomegranates from Goychay, which is famous for its pomegranate growing industry. At the festival, a parade is held with traditional Azerbaijani dances and Azerbaijani music. Pictures of the ripe fruit with the seeds bursting forth were often hung in homes to bestow fertility and bless the dwelling with numerous offspring, an important facet of traditional Chinese culture.

Iran is the second largest producer and largest exporter of pomegranates in the world. In Persian , pomegranate is known as "anar". The fruit's juice and paste have a role in Iranian cuisine , e. Pomegranate skins may be used to stain wool and silk in the carpet industry.

The Pomegranate Festival is an annual cultural and artistic festival held during October in Tehran, [ citation needed ] to exhibit and sell pomegranates, food products, and handicrafts. Pomegranate sepals and drying stamens after fertilization and petal fall.

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