Indeed, the pomegranate, or as it is affectionately called Pom, is no pushover when it comes to admirers trying to get to its goodies. Definitely not like the soft, mellow banana where its goodies are right there for the taking with just a simple snap and zip of the peel. The orange and grapefruit may put up a little more of a fight but shortly afterwards with just a couple pokes of the thumbs, you’re inside and going for the gold.
“The word pomegranate derives from the Latin pomum (apple) and granatus (seeded)…Yet it is distinguished by its crown – perhaps alluding that the pomegranate is “higher” than an apple, much like a crown is above the person who wears it.” Chabad of Queens College
Don’t even get Pom started talking about the poor old apple—just pick it and bite it—no work at all to get to its core. Maybe the apple’s rather defenseless state has something to do with all that garden of Eden business and that fateful event; but, never a peep is heard from Pom—sworn to secrecy because of the family honor and all. Other fruits may cause a little trepidation and require some work. Like the mango with that big ass seed right in the middle of all the fun and the coconut that takes more brawn than brains to crack open. The Carmen Miranda–loving pineapple takes more steps than most fruit but in the end, just a few cuts here and there and voilà that tropical trollop is open for the ravishing.
From its regal crown to all those luscious, plentiful seeds, yes, the pomegranate strikes rather an intimidating pose. To pierce through that tough rind, get around that spongy substance (albedo) just underneath and sail by those wispy, membrane divides, there are many effective ways; but, the jury is still out on which one is the very best. Essentially, the four most popular methods consist of these very simple sounding steps: 1) Cut, score, open, loosen and scoop; 2) Roll, halve, stretch and tap; 3) Slice, score, break and pop-out; and 4) Cut, score, remove, bend and serve.
“Although they are among the oldest cultivated fruits, pomegranates still seem exotic: reddish orbs shaped like holiday ornaments that open to reveal jewel-like seeds.” www.marthastewart.com
This “king of all fruits” is also the fruit of kings. It was buried with King Tut, planted in England by King Henry VIII and personified as beauty by King Solomon. According to lore, the bright-red king-like crown on the pomegranate’s peak inspired the crowns worn by kings. The pomegranate is even chronicled in the Bible, the Torah and the Quran among other sacred texts. Its symbolic significance linked to fertility, arousal, seasonal changes, marriage, paradise and the afterlife make it worth all the trouble to get inside.
“In China, a picture of a ripe, open pomegranate is a popular wedding present, expressing the wish, ‘May you have as many children as there are seeds!’”
So, suffice it to say that Pom is no stranger to the good life but don’t get it twisted. Pom, in all its regality and glory too has a rather seedy (no pun intended) side. Pom is known in most bars by its stage name Grenadine—yeah, that sweet, sticky, syrupy concoction made from pomegranate juice that has helped make libations more drinkable and drinkers more, let’s say “libatious”!
So, there’s nothing to worry about with Pom:
Ruby red and bright,
Plump and full of might,
Juicy balls of sheer delight
That can be high and uptight
Then common and so all right! Harris II