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.
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