The pomegranate has enjoyed a long social history, and recently has been elevated to elite status by the food and beverage industry.
Cheap Fruit to Top Shelf
I remember the days when the Pomegranate was on the bottom of the produce food chain. Pomegranates used to be not only affordable, but a fairly cheap fruit during season. I used to love to peel open a pomegranate from the outside, and then peel back all of the yellow layers inside, finding the sweet fruit seeds.
Now that Pomegranate is a nutritional big wig, it is one of the more expensive fruits in the produce section.
Pomegranate juice has also found its way to pricey organic and refrigerated juice blends in the grocery store, and even top shelf vodkas.
Why Are Pomegranates Suddenly Popular Again?
The main reason pomegranates have become popular again, and climbed the top of the social food ladder is because they contain some nutritional qualities.
Although they are considered high in sugar (like many other fruits), pomegranates are rich in anti-oxidants. Pomegranates are also rich in both Potassium and in Vitamin C, Vitamin A and Vitamin E. You won’t fund much saturated fat in pomegranates.
Pomegranates are also low in sodium and cholesterol. Pomegranates contains anti-inflammatory nutrients. Pomegranates are rich in folic acid.
So what kind of social reception has the pomegranate, also called the”apple of many seeds” receive throughout history?
In ancient cultures the pomegranate was a symbol of fertility.
The pomegranate makes appearances in Greek Mythology (see the Myth of Persephone), Egyptian Mythology, and in The Bible.
“Thy lips are like a thread of scarlet, and thy speech is comely: thy temples are like a piece of a pomegranate within thy locks.” – Song of Solomon
Anyone who has accidentally experienced the staining power of pomegranate juice won’t be surprised to learn that in ancient times, Pomegranate juice was also used as an ink ( http://www.uga.edu/fruit/pomegran.html).
“”The pomegranate speaks:
My leaves are like your teeth
My fruit like your breasts.
I, the most beautiful of fruits…” – (Egyptian hieroglyphs, as translated by E. Pound).
Pomegranates in the Arts
Artists have included the lively colored and intricate pomegranate in still life paintings, and paintings about myth and allegory.
Both Van Gogh and Cezanne painted pomegranates.
Modern day painters also enjoy painting the red fruit and its many seeds.
Pomegranates also graced pages written by Aesop, Homer, Shakespeare, Chaucer, and others.
Pomegrantes and Alcohol
Pomegranates are not new to flavoring alcoholic beverages. The sweet and artificial syrup that uses the name “Grenadine” used to be made from real pomegrante juice.
The pomegranate, in its social evolution, has come full circle.