Many Middle Eastern cultures regard pomegranate as a symbol of fertility and abundance. Each unit of this unique fruit has exactly 840 fruit kernels varying on colour from whitish red to bright red.
The origins of pomegranate have been traced to the Himalayas, and from there it wandered slowly first to Persia, then to the Caucasus, and eventually to the Mediterranean via the Moors who occupied and governed southern Spain for 800 years. They were eventually defeated and expelled by the famous Cardinal Mendoza, whose name is immortalized in Spanish history books and at least one fine Jerez de la Frontera brandy produced by Sanchez Romate.
Armenian immigrants introduced pomegranate seeds in California (1769).
Today, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, China, Japan, all Mediterranean countries and the U S A (California and Arizona) are notable producers of this fruit that can be sweet, sour, or tangy or all at the same time.
Persian cooks use pomegranates to perk up their fat-dribbling dishes, to decorate monochromatic dishes, and use the concentrate to concoct delicious and refreshing drinks during oppressingly hot summer months.
In Armenia, where this unique fruit is much admired ad in demand, people eat it, use it in their food, drink the juice of freshly pressed fruit, and make wine which many gourmets describe as heavenly.
In some countries innovative chefs garnish salads with pomegranate kernels, sprinkle them in rice dishes, use it as a marinade constituent, on ice creams, in rice puddings, and as a glaze.
Pomegranate is in season from October to December and available at greengrocers catering to discerning clientele.
Unfortunately, the North American public has yet to discover this versatile, colourful, and deliciously balanced fruit which researchers claim to be effective against prostate cancer and diabetes.