leathery fruit is full of edible seeds
nestled in tiny juice sacs.Brimming with
vitamins A, C, E and iron, the pomegranate
has been cultivated since pre-historic
times. Thought to
be native to Persia, the fruit is now grown
everywhere from Spain to California.
It features richly in mythology, as a symbol
of birth, eternal life, and death, owing to
its abundance of seeds and ability to
The deep red skin of the pomegranate was
thought to link it to the blood of the
earth, a taboo colour. Hence the fruit's
association with forbidden desire.
"Iranians believe that Eve was tempted with
a pomegranate in the Garden of Eden," said
Margaret Shaida, culinary historian and
author of The Legendary Cuisine of Persia.
"King Cyrus, who created the Persian Empire,
was reputed to have wished for a number of
good generals equal to the seeds of a
"Later again, the Prophet Mohammed is said
to have urged his followers to eat the fruit
in the belief that it purges the system of
envy and hatred."