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1.31.12 Pomnipotent

A much heralded character throughout history, the virtues of the pomegranate are extolled in the Koran, the Book of Exodus and Homer's Hymns. Punica granatum has been cultivated in the Caucasus since ancient times and continues to be popular amongst the antioxidant-slurping, fountain-of-youth-seekers of modern day. It's in season now in the Northern Hemisphere and widely available in supermarkets and Korean delis near you. The name comes from the Latin for "seeded apple" and, indeed, its leathery red shell breaks apart to reveal a spongy web nestling a treasure trove of glittering garnet jewels. So glorious is this fruit that the ancient city of Granada in Spain was renamed for the pomegranate during Moorish reign. The flavor is most often a combination of sweet and tart, with a mouth-puckering quality from the tannins contained in the juice of the aril, as the watery part surrounding the seed is called. These have a slight crunch to them and a hint of bitterness that adds to the complex flavor of this fruit, as delicious eaten out of hand as it is mixed fresh into salads, cooked in stews, or rendered into syrup to flavor all manner of drinks and traditional dishes from the Middle East.
Tagged — the red sea