Cappuccino Soul

Cappuccino Soul

Friday, December 08, 2006

Pomegranates—Super Fruit of the World

I have loved eating pomegranates (or as we called them "Chinese apples") since I was a child. I associate certain foods like Tastykake and the gorgeous red pomegranate with childhood. I just discovered the Tastykake company's Web site, so now I can have a taste of home in Nashville! The company's slogan was "all the good things wrapped up in one." We also loved pickles, Italian ice (water ice), sunflower seeds, Now & Later candy, subs, Utz and Herr’s potato chips, and the awesomely juicy pomegranate. I don't know why we loved them so much in my neighborhood, but somehow we found a way to eat them often as we played in the street.

Lately I've been noticing the fruit more and more in grocery stores. Also, the juice seems to be pretty popular (and expensive!), especially the POM brand. Lately I've introduced the fruit to our four-year-old daughter and surprisingly, she has adopted my passion for the fruit. She was surprised that I was able to chew most of the deep red pulp off the seeds and present bare white seeds.

I was surprised to see actual instructions on the Internet explaining how to eat a pomegranate. My friends and I used to simply break open the beautiful red skin of the fruit with our hands, pick out the burgundy red seeds, and eat them. Most of the time we'd savor each seed individually, but I can remember sometimes taking big bites out of the fruit, eating a mouthful of seeds at one time. This was pretty messy so I rarely ate it that way.

Only recently have I discovered the many health benefits of the "Chinese apple" from my childhood. Evidently the pomegranate, one of the oldest fruits known to man, has extraordinary health benefits.

Results from studies at Washington University in St. Louis last year suggest that pomegranates may help to prevent brain injury in newborn infants. This wonder fruit, high in vitamin C, folic acid, vitamins A and E, is said to both increase fertility AND prevent pregnancy (go figure). Research studies also suggest that eating pomegranates can prevent cancer, arthritis, and heart disease.

So the next time you're in the grocery store and spot a pomegranate, why not give it a try. The juice can stain your fingers, but the temporary discoloration is worth the sweet flavor!

Interesting Facts:
Every pomegranate has exactly 840 seeds.

Some scholars say that the apple mentioned in the Bible's Adam and Eve story was really a pomegranate.


Linda said...

I grew up in Delaware too (Dover and Smyrna) and miss Tastykakes - they sell them at Lenny's Sub Shop! Butterscotch Krimpets - yum!!!

Alicia Benjamin-Samuels said...

Hey Linda!
It's good to know that there's another Delawarean-Nashvillian blogger out there! Lenny's sub shop? Is that over near Vanderbilt? I gotta have some!

Anonymous said...

You mean there's actually a geographic region where Utz's and chess pies overlap? For some reason, it tickles me to know this.

Alicia Benjamin-Samuels said...

Dear Anonymous,
Yes, isn't it amazing? Sometimes I wonder, "Where in the world am I?" Sometimes my husband and I will hear a "country" song and he'll start singing along. I can't believe he actually knows some of the words! (He's from Nashville.)

melusina said...

Another Delawarian! I was born in New Castle, grew up in Wilmington, and moved to NC when I was 6. But my extended family still lived in Delaware/Maryland and so my childhood is rich with memories of Tastykakes and Utz potato chips! I moved to Nashville when I was 11, Greece when I was 32, so I am now a Delaware/NC/nashville/Greece blogger!

Pomegranates are great, but I never had one until I moved to Greece. And the other tidbit about it - the seed is the "trick" that forced Persephone to stay with Hades and thus created winter!

melusina said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Alicia Benjamin-Samuels said...

Wow! Another Delawarean. You won't believe this but I grew up in New Castle, Delaware with Wilmington just down the street. My parents' house now sits on New Castle Avenue.
Greece must be so exciting! I'm awefully jealous....
Man I could use some Utz barbeque chips right now!
Peace to you,

John H said...

Alicia - do you like POM, despite its priciness?

this post has inspired me to go and seek out some pomes in some form or the other!


Alicia Benjamin-Samuels said...

Hey John,
Yes I do like the POM pomegranates. I haven't tried the juice yet because it's soooo expensive, but one day when I'm feeling frivolous, I'll try it.
Pomogranates are delicious! I know you'll like them.

nite*vision said...

pomegranates are my absolute favorite fruit! i always look forward to winter time when they become abundantly available.

thanks for the interesting facts!

Alicia Benjamin-Samuels said...

Thanks for commenting and visiting my blog. Yes, pomegranates are magical. I plan to eat plenty this winter too.

Julie said...

I love pomegranates and have been eating them since I was a child - My grandfather used to bring home huge pomegranates that would drip beet red juice as soon as the skin was punctured - We would have to eat them over a bowl that was placed on top of paper towels - Today's pomegranates (bought in New York) do not even come close to those I remember - Anybody else out there with a similar feeling?

Alicia Michele Benjamin said...

Hey Julie,
My friends and I used to eat pomegranates a lot when we were playing in the streets of our neighborhood, so we didn't have to be so careful with the juice flowing from them -- it just dripped on our hands and onto the street.
I don't really notice much difference between the ones we ate as a child and the pomegranates that I buy now...but then again maybe my memory is failing me.