POMEGRANATE

A couple of mature pomegranate trees grew on our farm, probably planted there years before my father bought the land. This was decades before pomegranates became popular in modern cuisine, yet we loved pulling the ripe apple-sized, leathery fruit from the trees, breaking them open, and eating the beautiful red arils inside. Somehow, the small plastic tubs of pomegranate rubies I occasionally buy from the supermarkets do not taste the same: they still look beautiful, but lack the tangy, crisp taste of newly opened fruit.

These days the consumption of pomegranate fruit or juice is widely touted for its high vitamin C content as well as other health benefits ranging from assisting arthritis sufferers, Alzheimer’s, preventing cancer to improving one’s memory. We were ignorant of all these things and merely enjoyed the taste and the fact that such fruit was freely available.

Pomegranates are native to northern India and Iran and have formed part of the Middle Eastern diet since antiquity. They have only recently been grown on a commercial scale in South Africa, doubtless following the world-wide trend in ‘healthy living’ and the fruit being regarded as a ‘super-food’. As they grow best in a Mediterranean climate, it is not surprising to find the bulk of our local production is in the Western Cape.

You can read more about their local production at http://southafrica.co.za/pomegranate-production-south-africa.html

 

22 thoughts on “POMEGRANATE

    • Dankie, Una. As ek terug dink verstaan ek nou hoekom ons so gesond was as kinders: met granate, moerbeie, lemoene, mangoes, koejawels en so voorts op die plaas.

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    • They are a seasonal fruit so not freely available – despite all the recipes published these days calling for them as an ingredient and then there is the juice market to consider. Sadly, this tree is not in my garden.

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    • When I see them in the shops I sometimes think back to all those fruits that dropped from uneaten in my youth. They were just ‘there’, an accepted part of our environment.

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  1. It’s seeds find a place in North Indian cuisine too. The dried seed and pulp is powdered and used in curries for the sourness it imparts, doubtless for its health benefits too. My sister recently brought back dried pomegranate from her visit to Turkey. It is to be boiled in water and the warm brew drunk, like tea or coffee.

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