My significant other, who will henceforth be referred to as Bubba, and I bought our first Pomegranate today. They are a pretty fruit which produce edible little pearls. We’ve had them on salads, and love the juice, but have never purchased one for home. Checking out the produce section, Bubba asked, “Should we get a pomegranate?”
The pomegranate has symbolized many things throughout history including good luck, fertility, eternity, and good tidings. These days, people are looking to pomegranates for treatment of everything from heart disease and high cholesterol to aging and erectile disfunction. Neither of us were looking for any magic cures. We just wanted to try something different. And so the rosy sphere found its way into our cart.
Once home, our pomegranate waited patiently on the counter for lunch to arrive. Groceries were stashed with the exception of a few left out for the meal. Bubba concocted a couple sandwiches on toasted buns. Sides of chips, pickles and a can of Coke for each of us were set out lovingly on t.v. trays. Classy, I know. That’s how we roll.
Meanwhile, I took on the pomegranate. Prior to lunch there was no time for Googling. Had there been, I surely would have run a search on how to open a pomegranate. Left to my own devices, I hacked into the thing and started pulling it apart.
Bubba turned to see how the process was coming and exclaimed, “Eeeeewww! What are those?” At first glance, they did look a little alien, but after peeling a couple off, I was already over the eeeewww factor. So I merely told him those were the membranes that separated the sections of seeds, as if that’s exactly what I expected to find in there. The rind was more like a shell, and the seeds clung desperately inside. Upon breaking the fruit, seeds exploded and skittered across the counter.
Since then, I have Googled pomegranate. What did we do before Google? Mostly, I tell my kids, we just sat around and wondered. I learned that pomegranate, like the fig and grape, is one of the oldest known fruit. The name pomegranate comes from the word pomme which means apple, and granate which refers to the seeds. I also found the pomegranate blossom. That is one messed up flower. It looks like something one might find in the Little Shop of Horrors, and avoid at all costs.
The pomegranate seeds were pretty when placed in bowl. We couldn’t wait to try a few. The ruby gems popped between the teeth. Tart sweetness pleasantly surprised our tongues. Then I bit down on the tiny pips. They were too big to ignore and too small to spit out. Thankfully the annoying little buggers weren’t as bitter as grape seeds.
As I was noshing the fruit along with my chips and sammy, I couldn’t help wondering if a little genetic modification couldn’t help the pomegranate. After all, look how far the fig and grape have come. Grapes now come in green, red, black, and both seeded and seedless. And just look what we’ve done with the fig!
Pomegranates are beautiful in the store, the seeds look like jewels, and the juice is sweet and flavorful, not to mention healthy. However, they could use a friendlier looking flower, an easy-open package, and those pips need to disappear. I know this isn’t going to be a popular suggestion, but in my opinion, we have a little genetic modifying to do on the pomegranate.