Pomegranate

Pomegranate

Plural:
Pomegranates
Family:
Punicaceae – Pomegranate family
Species:
Punica granatum

Origin

The pomegranate tree comes from Persia, in antiquity it was brought to India and China and spread across the entire Mediterranean.

Plant

The very best pomegranates come from countries with dry hot summers and cool winters; the plants do not go well with a humid-hot climate. The fruits — botanically seen as berries — grow on 2 to 4 m high bushy trees or shrubs with shiny, dark green leaves and intense carroty blossoms in a size of 4 to 6 cm.

Cultivation

Today, pomegranates are cultivated in all regions with a tropical and moderate climate. As they have a steady, up to 0.5 cm thick skin, they can transported and stored easily.

Importations

Primarily from July to February from Spain, Turkey, Israel, Iran, Tunisia, Egypt and Peru.

Fruit

Edible:
The seeds with the thin flesh and juice.
Inedible:
The leathery skin and the yellowish-white bitter skin between the the seminal chambers.
Odour and flavour:
It smells fresh and delicate, like roses and tastes sweet and sourish, similar to currants.
Shape:
Roundish and at the same time slightly chiselled; the calyx is a hexagonal to octagonal little crown situated on the top of the fruit.
Weight:
300 g to 500 g.
Skin:
It is firm and chartreuse to dark-violet.
Flesh:
It is coloured pale pink to crimson and very juicy; the thin skin encloses every single one of the numerous crystal-bright seeds, which are situated like pie slices arranged into seminal chambers.
Ripeness:
The skin is crimson to violet, shiny and slightly chappy.
Overripe fruits:
The skin is dull and leathery and the flesh is hard and dry.
Unripe fruits:
The skin is smooth, yellowish-red and the seeds have a bitter aftertaste.

Usage

The seeds may be spooned out and eaten raw out as well as put in sweet and hearty salads. The juice may be also squeezed for sorbets and drinks.

Storage

Completely ripe fruits put in the vegetable cooler of the fridge can be stored for up to 2 months; pomegranates need humidity. One should use sliced fruits within one day as the insides quickly desiccate.

By the way

Since antiquity, the pomegranate skin has been used for dying leather; even today, auburn or lemon yellow plant pigments are extracted for oriental carpets.