Tuesday, April 20, 2010


Arabic: Rumman Punica granatum; Lythraceae/ Punicaceae
While native to Iran and its neighboring countries, the pomegranate was cultivated in ancient times all around the Mediterranean and throughout the Arabian Peninsula. It is a deciduous tree or large shrub that produces excellent fruit under semiarid conditions.
How to use: 1) Eat the fleshy seeds to enjoy a delicious, slightly tart flavor; 2) Dry the seeds and use in cooking; 3) Extract the juice from the seeds for a refreshing drink or as a flavoring agent in cooking; 4) Dry the outer peelings and crush them for culinary, cosmetic or medicinal purposes. 5) Boil pomegranate peelings in water, then strain and drink the liquid; if more concentrated, the liquid can be used as a dye for clothes; 6) Dry the peelings, then grind and mix with henna to make it darker and provide skin nourishment.
In the kitchen: Pomegranate seeds have a sweet-sour taste. Crushed or whole, they often garnish salads, couscous, hummus and other Middle Eastern dishes. Dried pomegranate seeds and pomegranate syrup are also popular in cooking. Pomegranate juice is a refreshing drink on hot summer days. Pomegranate juice stains indelibly, so it’s wise to wear protective clothing when cooking with it.
Remedies across Arabia: Powdered pomegranate peelings are used on burns and to treat infection on external cuts and wounds. Soaked pomegranate peelings are used for sore throats, stomach aches and indigestion. To treat indigestion, pomegranate peelings are dried, then boiled, and the water drunk. Rose water can be added for flavor. Pomegranate soaked in boiled water is used with honey for heart trouble.
Did you know?
  • Pomegranate seeds are rich in vitamin C and are a good source of dietary fiber.
  • Commercially produced pomegranate syrup is called grenadine.
  • The Romans called the pomegranate fruit punicum, the Latin name for Carthage, because they believed that the best pomegranates came from there.
  • The Spanish name for the pomegranate is granada, and its fruit appears on Granada’s city seal.
  • Pomegranate is believed to be the inspiration for the hand-tossed explosive called a grenade. When a pomegranate is dropped on a hard surface, it bursts and seeds are tossed everywhere. The military borrowed the modern French name for the fruit, grenade.

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