The pomegranate tree is native to Persia and the Himalayas in Northern India. Pomegranates, Latin for seeded apple, have been cultivated since ancient times and have featured regularly throughout mythology, art and religion. There are at least 15 varieties in Australia. Varieties differ in fruit size, outer skin color (ranging from yellow to purple), seed (aril) color (ranging from red to white), juice content and the levels of sweetness, acidity and astringency in the seeds.
Eat the seeds raw, toss them through salads, and sprinkle over desserts. Make juice from the seeds for a refreshing drink or use as a great marinade for meats, salad dressings and sauces.
A quick and easy way to harvest the arils is to cut and break the pomegranate in half. Score each half of the outer rind four to six times then hold the pomegranate half over a bowl of water. Knock the rind with a large spoon and the arils should eject directly into the bowl. Remove any stubborn arils with a teaspoon.
Did you know that the Grenadine syrup used in cocktail mixing is made from thickened and sweetened pomegranate juice?
Read more about pomegranates in this The Adelaide* Magazine article.