It’s pomegranate season! This beautiful fruit, known for its rich pink color, crowned top, and ruby edible pearls, known as arils, has been cherished around the world for centuries for its taste, versatility, health benefits, and cultural significance.
Because pomegranate fits so well into the holistically healthy lifestyle that Nanoosh stands for, we have incorporated it into our Fattoush Salad, which is available only while pomegranate is in season. Eating food that is in season means that the ingredients are at their nutritional peak, you will eat a greater variety of foods, and you will likely be supporting sustainable farmers.
While pomegranate has gained popularity around the world due to the marketing of pomegranate juice, there is a rich history and folklore connected to the yummy fruit.
History of Pomegranate
Pomegranate is a fruit related to few others – it belongs to the Punicaceae family, which includes only one genus and two species. The trees they come from grow to about 20 to 30ft tall, and some have been known to live for two centuries! In the northern hemisphere, the trees produce fruit from about September to February, which is why you will find it in our seasonal Fattoush Salad.
Pomegranate has been around for about 8000 years, The pomegranate tree has its origins in the area spanning Iran and the Himalayas, though it has been cultivated in ancient times throughout the Mediterranean region.
The pomegranate fruit is believed to have powerful properties, and, as a result, it is used to symbolize abstractions like passion, prosperity, hope and abundance in many religious texts and mythology. In the Babylonian Talmud, it was carried across the desert with groups of traveling people so they may find solace in pomegranate’s thirst-quenching fruit.
In the 14th and 15th centuries, it expanded into Southeast Asia, the Middle East, and tropical Africa, and eventually to the West Indies and Central and South America.
Popularity and Uses
The popularity of pomegranate fruit and fruit juice has fluctuated over the past century; however it remains a staple in the Middle East and Mediterranean region. Getting the juicy seeds out of the hard outer layer is laborious for some, though for others, like in the Italian culture, it is a family activity.
In North America, pomegranate is seen as quite an exotic fruit choice. However, because some companies have chosen to bottle and commercialize pomegranate juice in the United States, it is a bit more accessible in a processed form.
Even if you enjoy pomegranate juice now and again, there is nothing like eating the whole fruit. One fruit contains 45% of your Daily Value of Fiber, 48% of Vitamin C, and a surprising 5 grams of protein. It is also rich in Vitamin K, Folate, B Vitamins, and a range of minerals. They also have three types of antioxidants, which will support overall health.
Eating Seasonal Foods
As we mentioned earlier, eating foods that are in season means that they are at their nutritional peak. If you eat seasonal foods throughout the year, you will eat a greater variety of foods, and you will more likely be supporting sustainable farmers. For this reason, Nanoosh incorporates seasonal foods into its menu throughout the year. Don’t let the pomegranate season go by without giving it a try!