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!
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.