Try out some of these delicious recipes inspired by current crops in the garden!
A common variety grown in California, this pomegranate has striking burgundy colored seeds.
With a vivid red color this new variety bears trees heavy with fruit and ripens weeks before Wonderful.
This dwarf variety differs from others in that it produces full size fruit on a miniature tree.
The word pomegranate comes from medieval French and is a combination of the Latin roots for “apple” and “seedy."
This Persian native was cultivated by the Egyptians and civilizations around the Mediterranean. It was later brought to the Caribbean, Latin America, and California by the Spanish.
During the Middle Ages sour pomegranates were believed to be good for an inflamed liver but were also seen as bad for the chest and voice.
Requiring a hot and dry climate to fully ripen, pomegranates are perfect for the arid weather of the Central Valley and are found in many subtropical regions around the world.
Fruit is generally ready to be harvested 6 to 7 months after flowering.
Growers generally harvest when the fruit makes a metallic sound when tapped and is about the size of a softball. After the fruit is harvested it does not ripen any further but travels and stores well, making it an easily transported fruit.
The ruby-red colored seeds and juice are loaded with the antioxidants anthocyanidins that help keep cholesterol levels healthy and may stave off Alzheimer’s disease.
The internal structure of pomegranates is unlike any other fruit with its randomly arranged clusters of seeds separated by white membranes. Botanists have even given pomegranates their own family in the plant kingdom, Punica granatum.
How to Buy:
Pomegranates come in a multitude of colors making it difficult to choose them based upon their hue. Choose fruit that is about the size of a softball with skin that appears neither wrinkled nor dried out. A heavier pomegranate for its size will ensure a higher concentration of seeds to white membrane.
How to Prepare:
Often seen as a troublesome fruit to prepare, pomegranates offer a hefty reward in the end. Start by cutting the fruit into quarters and removing the tannic white membranes. Then separate the seeds individually and eat as is or use them as a garnish for desserts and salads. If seedless juice is your objective, remove the seeds and membrane as described above and process them in a food processor. Then strain the juice through a fine sieve to remove any seed fragments.