Monday, June 26, 2017

Pomegranate

Fruit with a rough, reddish -brown skin and a prominent calyx
Pomegranate (Punica granatum) is botanically a thick-skinned berry of a deciduous shrub or small tree. The fruit is crowned with the persistent calyx and the stamens and divided by walls of core into several cells, each containing many seeds surrounded by crimson or pink  acid-sweet pulp.

Pomegranates has been connected with religious ceremonies in many ancient countries. Has been a symbol of fertility from the earliest times.  Once pomegranate is broken in half,  it is easy to understand why it's called the "apple with many seeds".  These small crimson seeds are delicious to eat when ripe even though somewhat tedious.  

Nutritional Value
Good source of vitamin C and thiamin, some calcium, phosphorus, iron,potassium, riboflavin, niacin.

Buying and Storing
Choose fruit about the size of  an apple or larger with a tough pink or bright red rind and crimson flesh. Do not buy fruit that looks hard and dry.  Once the fruit is rip, it splits open. Refrigerate until ready to use. 
To Prepare
  • Turn the stem end towards you and with a sharp knife cut through the stem end like the spokes of a wheel and peel back the skin. 
  • Or cut in half from the stem end(juice will spurt) and then break open.
It is important to remove any pith that surrounds the seeds as they are very bitter.

To extract juice:
  • Warm the fruit slightly or place in microwave for 30 seconds and then gently roll between the hand to burst the seeds inside. Make a hole in base of fruit, stand on glass and let the juice drain.  every so often, squeeze it until all juice seems to be drained. 
Use and Serve
  • The red fleshy seeds can be eaten out of hand or with a little sugar or salt.
  • Use as garnish for fruit salads or any rich dish, chicken dishes.
  • Use in mixed fruit cocktails, or as a substitute for red currants.
  • The juice can be used in sauces, soups, made into sorbet, ices, sherbets, jelly; 
  • Drinks can be made from the juice after removing the seeds. 
  • Pomegranates are also the basis of the syrup called 'grenadine'. 

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