Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Something to do with a pomegranate

A little while ago, I read a post at plutarch's about how to successfully find one's way into a pomegranate. It reminded me of a poem I'd heard on a Radio 4 poetry programme by a British Moslem ( I think) woman called ' How to eat a pomegranate', for which I've searched unsuccessfully, I don't know if anyone can enlighten me? While searching I did, however, find this one by the beautifully named Persis Karim, and Iranian woman living in America, who also wrote one about eggplants, which, as aubergines, are another food I'm very fond of.
My mind full of pomegranates, I was inspired to go and buy one, and set about peeling and preparing it...



... and soon, as promised, I had a bowl of the glistening, garnet chipping seeds. (The word 'garnet' comes from the same root as pomegranate, as does 'grenadine', of course, and also 'grenade', which device would explode on impact like the fruit.) Persis Karim says there are the people in the world who save every last seed, and the ones who eat them all one by one as they remove them from the pith. I ate quite a few but saved most of them.



At the same time as the pomegranate, I'd bought a mango, so I cubed that - using the 'hedgehog' method beloved of cookery programmes and fancy caterers, and mixed them.


I'm sorry to say, though, I am not someone who can resist guilding the lily; so I added some of our rose petal liqueur ( Danish Schnapps recipe), and this charmingly packaged syrup:


So there you are: something to do with a pomegranate.


10 comments:

marja-leena said...

What lovely images, and now I want a pomegranate too! And I learned a bit of etymology about that word, thanks!

Plutarch said...

Since this conversation started, I have been experimenting with other ways of extracting the garnet fruit from a pomegranite. I have now started to peel the beast, first scoring the skin into four sections as when some people peel an orange. I then pick off the hard skin bit by bit, and separate the pods of seeds, from the resulting ball. It still takes a long time, but is always rewarding.
Lovely pictures.
In Cyprus I remember being told that people did not consider a pomegranite ripe until the fruit was bursting through the skin, or the skin was cracking under its pressure. There was a pomegranite tree in my frined's house and the burst pomegranite lay on the ground beneath it, for the most igored, one supposed, for being so prolific.

Jan said...

Wonderful cheering images, Lucy.
This reminds me:at one time, I taught children with special needs.
We sometimes cut up fruit and veg, looked at them closely inside and out, then painted pictures of them with pastels and paints.
Some superb results.
YOur photos are great. Good enough to eat ( am I corny or what?)

herhimnbryn said...

Cut in half, hold half between finger and thumb (skin facing up)over a bowl and bash with a wooden spoon!
Glorious images L. Two of my favourite fruits.

catalyst said...

I second that. Well, fifth that. Those are beautiful photographs, Lucy. Bon Appetit magazine should be so lucky as to have you on staff.

apprentice said...

That's a wonderful poem. I love them too. I have a plant in my greenhouse, in Scotland, it flowers beautifully every year, but doesn't set fruit, it's probably not warm enough here - yet!

Tall Girl said...

They are fascinating fruit, but I really can't take to the flavour or the texture in my mouth. Better to look at...

Jonathan said...

I'd guess the poet might be Moniza Alvi.

Lucy said...

ML - you can have one Persephone! But don't eat it all at once...
Plutarch - I think it's one of the true delights of this on-line world that you and I, and people like us, can have a long and leisurely conversation spanning several weeks simply about pomegranates! I think that method might have been the one described in the original poem I can't find. A glut of pomegranates, what could one do? I doubt jam is an option, perhaps one could make grenadine syrup, rather as I used to make creme de cassis from too many blackcurrants... I was eventually discouraged from this operation as it mad such a mess of the kitchen.
Jan - cross sections of fruit and veg have always fascinated me, I think children often respond to them.
H - sounds a bit vilent to me! The mango was slightly underripe, but the pom. needed using.
Cat - I am a foody photographer manquee!
Apprentice - hello and welcome! come global warming... or perhaps you need a male and a female? Glad you like the poem.
TG - flavour no problem, I find it delicious, and I like the way the grains burst in the mouth, but I must admit the very crunchy seediness can be difficult in large quantities. Perhaps one at a time is better. They sometimes had them as decorative elements in the 30s interiors in 'Poirot'!

leslee said...

A friend of mine taught me to open them in a big bowl of water. The seeds float off (with lots of help, of course) and it's a lot less messy. I do think they're more interesting to look at and think about than eat, though! The juice isn't bad in a martini, either. :-)