Red, round and packed with rosy seeds, pomegranates have enamored humanity for millennia. Pomegranates have a bulbous apple shape with a leathery, red rind and a calyx flourish on top. Inside the fruit are chambers of crunchy, edible seeds coated in a ruby colored juice pulp called “aril”. The aril produces a nectarous juice with earthy, sweet flavor known for its supernutrients. Pomegranate seeds are enjoyed raw, in salads, drinks and juices.
Its distinct shape earned the pomegranate the nickname “grenade” in French. However, the name "pomegranate" actually comes from the Latin words for "apple" and "seeded".
If you want to know how to crack into these gigantic berries, keep reading to learn all about pomegranates!
More or less the size of a baseball, the best part of pomegranate is inside its thick, crimson skin. When you cut a pomegranate in half, you’ll see hundreds of glittering scarlet seeds surrounded in an aril of sweet, red pulp. Pomegranates are considered many-seeded berries, whose seeds are tightly clustered inside the many chambers of the pomegranate’s pithy, thick rind. The inner rind is creamy yellow in color with a dense, spongy pith that gives pomegranate its sturdy structure. The plump seeds are edible while the inedible peel is discarded.
Pomegranate’s flavor can range from sweet to tart depending on variety. The juice is complex in flavor, as many deeply colored berries are. The flavor of pomegranate is often described as sweet like grapes, tart like ripe cherry and earthy like acai.
Seeds of pomegranate are a wonderful treat raw, and as an ingredient in sweet and savory recipes. Tart pomegranate seeds add crunch and a sweet acidity to dishes like fruit salad, guacamole, oatmeal, yogurt, yogurt parfait, salsas, meat marinades and desserts.
Drinking pomegranate is just as easy and delicious. Pomegranate holds its own as a one-fruit juice, and can be added to other juice recipes for added sweetness, color, flavor and nutrition. Cocktails provide an excellent canvas for pomegranate’s bitter and sweet, earthy juice.
The rich flavor of pomegranate juice is matched only by its nutritional makeup. Pomegranate has long been prized for its antioxidant properties known for boosting immunity and contributing to overall wellness.
Pomegranates prefer a dry, arid climate and are most commonly grown in Chile, Argentina, California, Arizona and Northern Mexico, the Middle East, Central Asia, North Africa, and the Mediterranean basin.
The tree from which the pendulous pomegranates grow is a deciduous shrub that grows up to 33 feet tall. Pomegranates are known to have originated in a region spanning from Iran to Northern India, and have been cultivated in the Mediterranean region since ancient times. It was brought to California by Spanish settlers in 1769.
It’s no wonder pomegranate is so popular during the winter holidays! You’ll find pomegranates in season from September through February.
Whether a pomegranate is certified organic or not will depend on the farm where it was grown. At FruitStand, we partner with family and specialty farms for exceptional quality of produce. When each harvest is available, we'll tell you whether the fruit is considered organic or conventional.
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