For long time pomegranates were used either as a decorative piece or as filler for a fruit basket. Pomegranate juice is sold now in most supermarkets and people are discovering this unique taste.
Research has shown that pomegranates have a compound that prevents blood clots. It lowers the bad cholesterol, the LDL, lower blood pressure and one study in 2004 suggests that pomegranate juice discourages the growth of prostate cancer.
The fruit has an ancient history. Cultivation of pomegranates has been traced back to pre-historic times, probably originating in ancient Persia. They are mentioned several times in the Old Testament of the bible, called under the name, “rimmon,” which is of Arabic origin-the Arabic word for pomegranate is rumman.
The ancient Phoencians used it for their religious rituals. The French word pomme means apple, and the word, “pomegranate,” translates to “apple with many seeds.” It thus associated with procreation. The goddess Aphrodite, the goddess of love, supposedly planted the first pomegranate tree so it could spread throughout the world.
In the Middle East, people would make pomegranate molasses out of the fruit because that was the only way to preserve it. The molasses was used to flavor sauce, to cure meat and to make sweet and sour marinades.
Here is a recipe for a sauce that can be used for grilled vegetables or grilled fish.
Pomegranates and Tahini Sauce:
makes about 2 cups
1 cup pomegranate molasses
1/4 cup tahini-sesame seeds paste-
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup olive oil
4 cup cloves garlic, mashed
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
zest of one lemon
salt to taste
-Whisk all ingredients together into a smooth paste. Add couple tablespoons of water to the sauce if it came too thick.