BodeLou Bakes

trends: the POM
December 9, 2010, 3:19 am
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , ,

Sometimes people with dissimilar interests can be the best of friends. Take for example my friend D. While we both have a love for scrabble, delicious wine and true wit, she spends her time living and breathing fashion and I spend my time eating, dreaming or writing about food. While the two seem completely unrelated and for the world of modeling, absolute enemies, they truly are more alike than you would think.

Much like fashion, food goes through fads. While cupcakes ruled the bakery in 2009, 2010 was supposedly the year of the french macaroon. Crock-pot cooking and 30 minute meals were reinvented in the first decade of this millennium by Rachael Ray and now there has been a shift back towards a trend of  home-made, from scratch dinners. From the Mojito to the cosmopolitan, spirits too display an ever-changing list of “Must-Knows” for bartenders.

What qualifies as a trend, what causes it and did we ever forget about those old favorites anyway?

One of the most recent and longest lasting trends in food is the Pomegranate. Since around 2007, a “new” fruit was introduced on the market and quickly became the latest crave.  Back in 1987 Beverly Hills billionaires Stewart and Lynda Resnick bought a hundred-acre stand of pomegranate trees and grew it into the nation’s largest pomegranate farm.  Six years later the couple started the company POM now, marketing pomegranates as a source of optimum health through natural juice and antioxidants. Those bulbous bottles flew off the shelf making American consumption of the fruit quadruple from 2002 to 2008, a number which I am sure has only increased since.

Nowadays, you can find Pomegranate in everything from your cocktails and cupcakes to the seasoning for steak and the garnish for your salad. The appointed “Super Fruit” has blossomed into a front-runner, next to it’s not so distant cousin the apple. While marketing and science can be the true source of the fruits success (in some cases, marketing of the science, and marketing funding the science,) it’s worth wondering why we weren’t eating it all along.

Remember those stories about the Garden of Eden that you have heard? Supposedly, it wasn’t an apple with which the serpent tempted Eve, but a Pomegranate. So where did the fruit disappear to since the beginning of humanity? Historically speaking, it has made its place known several times throughout history, with references in all major books of religion. Symbolically, the pomegranate, the fruit of the greek goddess Persephone, represents fertility, since it is the seeds that are consumed. Originally native to parts of China, India and the Middle East, it made its way into western civilization with the onset of trade. Celebrated by ancient Egyptians but purposely avoided by early meat loving Europeans, the word pomegranate means seeded apple. It makes it appearance again in Romeo and Juliet but was used mostly for decorative purposes.

After serving generation after generation of Indians  with its medicinal purposes Pomegranate has taken a leading role in flavor. From grenadine to martini’s to juice and salad dressing, this is one fad I am happy to appreciate, thankful to marketing for and pleased to celebrate.  Shockingly, obsession with pomegranates has yet to decelerate. I can’t say that I am going to complain and I encourage you to try them, if you have yet to.  Enjoy them when they are in season this time of year. (this is one of the few fruits that you actually CAN’T find when they are out of season, a testament to their newness in industrial/commercial agriculture!) Drink the juice in the morning, try buying an actual pomegranate and experiencing the sensation of the seeds (technically referred to as arils)  as they burst in your mouth. Forget your clementines and asian pears. You did know pomegranate is the new dark chocolate, didn’t you?

ps. thnx scarlo for topic:)

4 Comments so far
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Nice. I vividly remember how this fruit started becoming the “in” thing here, esp. since for me it was so common to eat it in Zambia and India. When it did start showing up at the stores, the prices were insane and I refused to buy them, because I used to eat them of the tree by the handful back home! My wife ate her first one when visiting India! And when we finally did buy one here, it tasted terrible! I’ll stick to dark chocolate here and pomegranate in India/Zambia thanks!

Comment by peachesncurry

Never knew the history like that! I love the Persephone story…my favorite. I have a Persian classmate that taught me how to best get the ‘arils’ out. They’re $1 – $1.50 in groceries here in Queens. My favorite thing is to prepare the seeds in a shot glass (or a few shot glasses) to eat while studying. Great post!!

Comment by scarlett

I just bought some clementines and was looking forward to enjoying the winter fruit, but now I’m rethinking my decision. Looks like another trip to the grocery store is in order…thanks for the ideas:)

Comment by Julia

I always knew that pomengranate martinis must be good for you. Yay antioxidants:)

Comment by MaryEvelyn

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