The Pom of Life

Pomegranates originated in Persia and although the Spaniards brought pomegranates to the US in the 1700s, they are relatively new to the American diet. Pomegranate has been marketed as a superfruit only in this last decade. It's not new to us Indians though as it is grown in India, among other South Asian, African and Mediterranean regions.

Traditionally, it was used to treat diarrhea and dysentery. Skeptics question whether this ever worked. I don't know either but what I can tell you is that it was one of the few fruits I enjoyed when I was sick! Pomegranates are usually very expensive so when I saw a box of 4 for under $8, I couldn't resist picking up a box.

the first peek

Pomegranates are rich in antioxidants and Vitamin C.

There are several ways to cut open a pomegranate. I prefer to have the knife touch as little of the beautiful red arils as possible. I score the skin with a knife as close to the crown as possible and pry it open as in the picture above. Then I score the skin from the stem to the crown, almost in quarters. I then pry open the fruit, revealing red ruby like arils, as in the picture below. I lose some juice but it's not messy either.


Medha came up with a rather innovative way to eat pomegranate. In my next post, of course! Until then enjoy some fabulous pictures of pomegranates from:
Matt Armendariz, a food photographer and stylist, and
Jai and Bee of Jugalbandi


bee said...

your third pic is sexxxxaye. so are those you linked to on flickr. i couldn't beleive my eyes when my local co-op had them for 78 cents a piece. sometimes we get lucky here in the sticks.

Suganya said...

Lovely shots, Manisha!

Average Jane said...

I'm so excited that it's pomegranate season again! I have a delicious recipe for a pomegranate salsa and I can't wait to make it.

musical said...

The "nestled together" picture is a beauty! Waiting for your next post :).

Lakshmi said...

Such a lovely pic.I loved the third pic. Will wait for your next post Manisha.

Parul said...

In costco once i picked up a brochure that told how to open up a pomagranate. I usually used to open it the way you do and end up having splatters and stains.
OK., The best way is to slice out the top an bottom and gently make a couple of lines in the side without going through to the red fruit inside. Now in a big vessel dip the pomaganate completely and open it up in the water. The peels and the yellow things float on the top . strain it and all that you are left with is the red fruit down below.

Parul said...

I forgot. You need to fill the vessel with water before making this an underwater experience.

Indian Food Rocks said...

I don't know why you complain, Bee! You have great soil, excellent produce and you get pomegranates really cheap! And here I am! Paying $2 cos that's the lowest I've seen!

Suganya, thanks! Feel free to share any critiques or suggestions.

AJ, please please blog the recipe when you do make it! I want to try it, too!/

Musy and ToM, thanks and unfortunately my next post will have to wait till tomorrow. I burnt my hand when I absent-mindedly picked up a pan that I was heating in the oven. My fingers are covered in blisters. Ouch!

Parul, thank you for that info! Yes, that's what the little brochure from POM that came with the fruit also says. As does the link from my post.

However, I seem to have perfected my method as I have very little splatter or stains. I also don't like to chop off the ends as I lose precious juicy arils. I like the way I do it as I lose very few arils and if done gently, can almost be a meditative experience. (Ouch! Who threw that rock at me?!)

Welcome to IFR!

Anita said...

Meditation is good...makes you calm, and less likely to be provoked to throw rocks at people

Beautiful rubies...when is it pomegranate season in Delhi,I forget...must be right now?

Indian Food Rocks said...

He! he!

The season for pomegranate in the US is from mid-September to mid-Jan. This is the first I saw of them in Colorado and these are Californian poms. Yes, I know! All that way and global warming and all that. But if I paid heed to that, I would eat next to nothing! The growing season is very short in Colorado. If everything that is not perennial didn't die last night, then it will die tonight.

Sona - quick picks/pick quicks said...

great shot, manisha.. ur egg snap, and the tale behind it....kudos to you!!1

Sugarcraft India said...

Hi Manisha
You have an excellent flair for writing've presented a simple regular fruit so your snaps too!!
Will look forward to hear more from you.

Kitt said...

Ooh, looks delicious. I rarely buy poms because they're such a pain to peel. I'll have to try your method.

Don't feel too guilty about buying from California. Read this. (Article about why eating local is a more complicated issue than you might think.)

Pelicano said...

Nice post Manish, and very true about Americans. When I was little- in the 70's- most grocers always stocked a few, but very few people knew what to do with them. In my family, it was just my mother and I who loved them- split in half, sprinkled with a bit of sugar as they were always a bit tart (grapefruit had a similar reception: my father and sis detested them) But yeah, I don't know anyone who hasn't at least tried one- or had the juice. The large quantities for sale now are hard to ignore!

But, of course, Grenadine has always been a standard bar-stock.

sunita said...

The last picture is a masterpiece...haven't had these beauties for a very long time.

Siri said...

Lovely Pics Manisha and a great post..:D

TheCooker said...

Such beautiful pictures!

Burnol lagaya? on those fingers.

Indian Food Rocks said...

Kitchen Scientist, welcome to IFR! I'm glad you liked my picture of an egg.

SCI, I'm glad you think so! Welcome to IFR!

Kitt, try it. If it doesn't work, do the underwater thing. Pomegranate juice stains! Thanks for that link - I do feel a lot better.

Pel, I love grapefruit with sugar! The quantities of poms as well as the marketing push! They are everywhere. I quite like pom tea. Pom martinis are yum, too!

I didn't mention grenadine as pom syrup has unfortunately been replaced by HFCS and red color.

Sunita, give in to the desire when you see them! They are good or your health!

Thanks, Siri!

Indian Food Rocks said...

TC, Burnol! OMG! No! Did you know that it's a general all-purpose anti-septic cream? It makes for a great marketing case study: how not to position a product or, better still, how to position a product for failure!

I held my hand under cold water for what seemed like hours and it still throbbed. The best medicine was of course the TLC I got after being admonished for 'wasting my time in the kitchen.' I'll take both of those in extra-large doses, thank you! Just tell me who's making dinner instead!

Amna said...

Wow !! lovely pics and a nice blog,all those lovely pome pics are a visual treat indeed!