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The pomegranate has been know since ancient times, and is even mentioned in mythology. There are many references to the fruit in the Bible, where it is described as being an excellent food, but is also mentioned for its beauty. The author of The Song of Solomon even uses it for comparison to the beauties of a bride.
The pomegranate is a native of the more arid regions, such as Iran, which was known in Biblical days as Persia, and, in some writings, as Ispahan. It is also grown in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and others countries in that general region of the world.
It is a very beautiful fruit, with a somewhat woody covering and a reddish color. When cut in half, a soft, spongy interior is revealed, with a large number of ruby-red seeds. Indeed, it is the seeds which are edible. These seeds can be picked or cut out individually, or can be removed by placing the whole of the half fruit under water and squeezing, releasing the seeds into the water. The rest of the fruit is not normally eaten.
In recent years, the pomegranate has come to be valued for its richness in vitamins and minerals, and especially for its anti-oxidants. Pomegranate juice is now readily available in most major grocery chains, and is often touted as a health drink. It combines with other juices well, and is now quite regularly found in combination with cranberry juice.
It is now called a "super fruit" because of its being a great source of the aforementioned health benefits. Because of this, it has become a valuable commodity, and is taking its place among cranberries, grapes, bananas, oranges, apples, etc. as a worthwhile crop. Although it has not yet reached the popularity of some other fruits, such as those mentioned above, it is rapidly growing in popularity and is taking its place as a real boost to the economy in the places where it is grown, and from which it is shipped around the world.
Chiefly because of the vibrant red color of the seeds, pomegranates have become associated with the Christmas season, and are usually available during that time, which fits easily into its normal maturity and harvest time.
A great deal more information, including pictures and scientific materials, are readily available to the curious student by using any of the usual search engines such as Google, Ask, Bing, etc.
Prof. Louis Welcher
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