3 Reasons Why You Should Love Pomegranates
Pomegranates are a ruby red deliciously sweet exotic fruit and the seeds inside look like jewels. It’s that time of the year in the USA, my favorite time of the year. Beginning in September or October, we start enjoying the colors of autumn, preparing for and celebrating fun holidays like Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas, and looking forward to spending time with family and close friends.
You are probably wondering what do pomegranates have to do with any of this? Uumm … nothing really! It’s just me. It’s not an American tradition to include this particular fruit in our holidays and celebrations but I think it should be. These are my 3 reasons why.
Reason 1: Pomegranates Should Be Included in the Traditional Cornucopia
First of all, pomegranates are a “super food”, which means they have numerous health benefits. Additionally, the harvesting season for pomegranates usually occurs in September and October. The traditional American Thanksgiving cornucopia, also called “horn of plenty” includes most of the typical autumn fruits and vegetables (corn, pumpkin, apples, etc.). Since it’s the harvesting time for pomegranates, why not include them too?
Needless to say my idea has not caught on. Time honored traditions are hard to change. But I am undaunted by the lack of support for my cornucopia idea. Instead, I have gone further to suggest that these lovely ruby red fruits be added to our Christmas festivities. Why not? They’re red! And red is a Christmas color. My late mother always put out bowls of fresh fruit on Christmas Eve. But there were never any pomegranates in the mix. That should change!
I know changing traditions are usually frowned upon. But the fact of the matter is traditions are manmade. If humans make them up, then humans can also change them!
Reason 2: Pomegranates Are the Main Ingredient in Awesome Recipes
Many wonderful dishes are made from fruits and vegetables harvested during the fall. If pomegranates are a fruit that is harvested during the last quarter of the year, that means there are wonderful dishes that can be created using them as the main ingredient. Pomegranates are already a part of Jewish holiday celebrations. The Internet is bursting with recipes that include pomegranates. Here are a few.
Pomegranate Brisket with Cranberry Succotash | The Nosher | My Jewish Learning (Often served as part of the Rosh Hoshanah tradition.)
Pomegranate Ginger Sauce | Spruce Eats (Use on poultry or grilled seafood.)
Pomegranate Frozen Yogurt | Cafe Fernando (Lots more pomegranate recipes at this food blog.)
Reason 3: Pomegranates Have a Fascinating Food History
The history of pomegranates is as colorful as the fruit. My research indicates that this food is cross-cultural and has played an integral role in Middle Eastern and South Asian history, as well as the history of Western civilization. This exotic fruit was and still is incorporated into the beliefs and customs of various communities, as well as their cuisine. When you know the history of a particular food, somehow it makes the dishes prepared with that food even better! Don’t you think so?
♦ There are probably many other reasons you can think of for loving pomegranates. But don’t you agree with me on these 3?
Featured image: A bowl of ash-e anar, a Persian soup made with pomegranate juice (Photo credit: Wikipedia)