Thursday, December 3, 2009
The pomegranate has always been an exotic fruit to me. A bit mysterious and stunningly beautiful, they always pique my interest when I pass by the boxes of them in the grocery store. I can recall the first time I ate one, no one had explained to me that you eat only the seeds -imagine my surprise as I bit into the spongy and bitter flesh!
Having recovered from that first experience, I now have no fear when cutting into one of these alluring fruits. Last night as I was preparing a fruit salad, I had the joy and struggle of dropping each of the seeds into the bowl. Every seed, or aril, looks like an uncut and unpolished ruby. Oh how I would love a necklace with such jewels dropping down off of chains of gold and silver.
Going back centuries, I am fascinated by the role they have played in ancient culture and religion. For example, did you know that they are a symbol of fruitfulness in Judaism? I've even heard it suggested that the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden was actually a pomegranate and not an apple. Well, considering that the Garden of Eden may be modern day Iraq, that makes sense - but can you imagine Eve partaking of a pomegranate? Standing next to the tree as the serpent looks on ... trying to eat of the fruit? As I ever so inelegantly cracked open one of these babies last night, causing it to "bleed" all over my kitchen counter, I'm still trying to wrap my head around that possibility.
Beliefs and theories aside, the pomegranate is just plain delicious. I think it requires a little patience when eating one. But then, to be patient is to be fruitful. And these fruits are certainly rewarding.