December 04, 2012
We recently had a group experience with pomegranates at the branch. Several staff members had never tried one before! I am an aficionado by comparison, as I've been eating them since college! One major point of contention: Do you eat the seeds?
That may be a little confusing, especially to people who aren't familiar with the antioxidant-rich fruit. Their rich, rosy color continues when you break open the round bulb-like shape to reveal over 100 seed pods, or arils, full of sweet, tart liquid surrounding a woody seed.
The translation from the Latin is "seeded apple," and many believe that the Bible refers to pomegranates when speaking of the apple that tempted Eve. Fittingly enough, the pomegranate also plays a role in the Greek myth of Persephone. Having been taken to the Underworld by Hades, she is doomed to spend a third of every year with him for eating pomegranate seeds. In many cultures, it remains a symbol of fertility and abundance.
If you are interested in trying one, be sure to snatch one in season. Typically the best time is between September and February, so keep an eye out at your local grocer! One of the toughest things about pomegranates is deseeding them, but we have you covered. Just watch this instructional video, or follow these steps to ensure it's a mostly painless process.
Back to the seed debate: it doesn't make a whole lot of sense to spit out the seeds, especially when there are over 100 in every fruit! The seeds themselves also have great nutritional value. High in antioxidants and fiber, along with the boost of Vitamin C and K in the pomegranate juice, you're doing wonderful things for your body. Don't like the seeds? Spit them out, I won't tell anyone. (Confession: I didn't know you could eat the seeds until last week!)
Want to learn more about this healthy food? Check out Pomegranate: the Most Medicinal Fruit or Pomegranate Roads: a Soviet Botanist's Exile from Eden.
There are a ton of great recipes that use pomegranates as well, and what a great color for the holiday season. Stop by the Library, and check out one of our fantastic cookbooks. You can bring us a pomegranate or two as well, we've got some new converts!
South Independence Branch