Pomegranates

{Tart, sweet, finger and clothes-staining but worth it}

PomegranateResized

Maybe it wasn’t the apple after all that led to Adam and Eve’s fall from grace. With its come- hither looks, the pomegranate might have been the likely irresistible candidate. One bite, and it was all over. Nowadays, it’s no sin to enjoy this late fall to early winter fruit so go ahead and indulge but dress accordingly as the juices stain clothes!

Go beyond the fruit’s leathery, shiny ruby colored but inedible skin and you will find juice of an even deeper color, contained within the many seeds (arils) held by thin membranes. Probably originally from Persia (ancient Iran), this seasonal fruit is the basis for grenadine syrup used to flavor and color drinks from the kiddie-loving “Shirley Temple” to the stylish Cosmo cocktail. High in vitamin C and a great source of potassium, the juice may also be boiled down to become a kind of molasses, a thick garnet-colored liquid that is often used to flavor Iranian stews and acts wonderfully well as a glaze for roast duck and other dark-meated poultry. The freshly squeezed juice, either extracted by hand by rolling an uncut whole fruit on the counter until the juices are released from the seeds inside and then deposited into a bowl, or storebought from the refrigerator case of a good local grocery, is delicious on its own as a beverage, albeit an expensive and pleasantly tart one at that. But you may also put it into the base of a glass of dry champagne or into ginger ale or club soda for a delightfully tart and refreshing libation.

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