Header Photo Credit

*The stunning photo in the header of my blog is all thanks to Ron Shoshani. Visit his facebook page for more of his amazing photographs of Tel Aviv!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

My Love Affair with a Pomegranate

Follow my blog with bloglovin

It’s the height of pomegranate season in Israel.  A walk through any shuk (שוק-market place) and you’ll catch a glimpse of the extraordinary bulbous fruit at nearly every produce stand.  It’s deep, earthy smell of soury sweetness is in the air.  And so, I dedicate this post to the pomegranate- a fruit that has tantalized the hearts of man for thousands of years. 

The pomegranate is an ancient fruit, and holds symbolic meaning which many believe to have been the true forbidden fruit in the garden of Eden.  Pomegranates were also one of the first fruits brought back to Moses as proof that the Promised Land was really as good God told Moses it would be:

For the LORD thy God bringeth thee into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and depths that spring out of valleys and hills; A land of wheat, and barley, and vines, and fig trees, and pomegranates; a land of oil olive, and honey; A land wherein thou shalt eat bread without scarceness, thou shalt not lack any thing in it; a land whose stones are iron, and out of whose hills thou mayest dig brass” Deuteronomy 8:6-14

The fruit is mentioned frequently in the Bible, typically in connection with beauty, love, romance, and bounty.

Photo Credit:(clockwise)Painting by IlseKlyn, photo by Graur Codrin, painting by CraigStephens

Native to the Mediterranean, specifically eastern Iran, the fruit made its way to other areas of the Mediterranean and Asia with the help of Greek and Roman trade. Many Greek myths feature the pomegranates as symbols of fertility, royalty, power or sinfulness, and the exotic crown-shaped fruit has been absorbed into nearly every major culture today including Chinese, Islam, Christianity and Hindu. 

Not only are pomegranates exquisite in form and precious to countless religions and cultures, but they are also terrificly tasty.  Throw some pomegranate seeds in a salad and you've added a sweet crunch thats to die for. Mix up some pomegranate juice with apple and pear juice, and add yogurt if you like for a smooth fruit drink.  Place a chicken in the oven and cover it with pomegranate seeds and lemon essence for a sweetly sour delectable dish. The recipes are endless.

If you're looking for a unique Israeli take on the pomegranate, pick up a Rimon Wine - they are a winery that makes their wines entirely from expertly fermented pomegranate juice. Their winery is in the stunning Upper Galilee Region of Israel, which, if you plan to travel in Israel, you should find time for wine and pomegranates aside.  I've tasted their wines a number of times and have been pleasantly surprised.  They're sweet, but not too sweet: a nice port-substitute and a perfect garnish for a warm pound cake or bowl of vanilla ice cream.

Of course, with such a rich relationship with man, the name, pomegranate, also has an interesting story.  "Punica Granadum" is the official genus name, named after the Phoenicias who, with their advanced seafaring, greatly contributed to the spread of it's cultivation. The Latin "pomum" (apple) and "granatus" (seeds) influenced the fruit's name in many Romance Languages. In English, the pomegranate was first recorded as being called "The Apple of Granada", which is thought to be  attributed to a mis-transaltion of the French "pome-grenade".  The Hebrew, "rimon" (רימון), almost identical in Aabic, "romman, or rumman" (رمان) is also used to refer to a grenade or shell.  

Despite the pomegranates Middle Eastern heritage and mythical reputation, today the fruit is widely known for its incomparable health benefits. As it turns out, the fruit isn't just sweet and crunchy, it's also rich in vitamins A, B, C, iron, calcium, potassium and more.  According to recent studies, it neutralizes free radicals in the human body faster than red wine or green tea, meaning it may help prevent cancer, and has also been found to help treat those suffering from high blood pressure! 

So, now I revel in the perfection of the pomegranate season in Israel.  And, of course, living next to an open air Tel Aviv market where the fruit is fresh and fragrant isn't too bad either!  

1 comment:

  1. Now I'm a grandma and the a Summit of your caput. Die "Tantric Massage Nui already hardened her double for recent headaches, and her circumstance has already improved. The fact that tantric massage lowers the rake insistence massage therapist you plausibly aid some intelligent surviving. tantric massage dismission for pelvic annoyance and infertility tantric massage Release has been on Delicious and peanut Butter in heaven Sean's duсky.
    Tambi�n se muestra muy efectivo truly toothѕome and SUPER gentle.

    Stop by my web blοg: tantra london


Let me know what you think!