Ever had a Shirley Temple
Although pomegranates are still relatively unused on the American
culinary scene, Asian and Middle Eastern cuisines have featured
them for over a thousand years. As a fertility symbol, they inspired
portrayals in the art and writing of Persia, Egypt, and Rome. In
the early part of the sixteenth century, pomegranates were introduced
to Central American cultures by European explorers and readily incorporated
into local cooking. Using pomegranate seeds to represent the red
in the Mexican flag, Chiles en Nogada is a dish of stuffed poblano
chiles traditionally served on September 16th to commemorate Mexican
independence from Spain. Pomegranates are also the historical source
of the vibrant red in grenadine, used to flavor cocktails and Shirley
Temples the world over.
Make a Mean Martini
On their own, pomegranate seeds make for a colorful garnish in appetizers,
entrees and desserts. The juice can be used straight in drinks or
reduced and combined with sugar to make a sort of molasses. Cooks
use this thick red syrup as a glaze for fish or meats, and to add
flavor and intense color to more complicated dishes. To use a pomegranate,
score the skin from top to bottom in four separate quarters, being
careful not to damage the delicate fruit inside. Carefully separate
the quarters from one another-they should come apart quite easily.
Then, gently separate the tiny red fruit from the white inner membranes.
Use the four recipes above as a diving board for your own ideas.