Pome­gran­ate

Taste & Flavors - - THE LAND FROM -

The pome­gran­ate shrub (small tree) has been planted in the Mediter­ranean re­gion since an­cient times. The name pome­gran­ate de­rives from me­dieval French and means seeded ap­ple. In many cul­tures, the fruit sym­bol­izes pros­per­ity and fer­til­ity

is the pres­i­dent of The Food Her­itage Foun­da­tion, a Le­banese non-profit or­ga­ni­za­tion that aims at pre­serv­ing, doc­u­ment­ing and re­viv­ing Le­banon's tra­di­tional her­itage. Juice, wine and mo­lasses are pro­cessed from pome­gran­ate fruits, the lat­ter be­ing very pop­u­lar in many types of cui­sine in­clud­ing Le­banese. The seeds also have their place in the kitchen; when dried, they are used in In­dian and Pak­istani cui­sine as spices in the prepa­ra­tion of chut­ney and curry.

Several va­ri­eties of pomegranates are planted on dif­fer­ent al­ti­tudes across Le­banon; they vary from sour acidic to sweet. The fruits are har­vested in fall. Pome­gran­ate mo­lasses, deb­sel­rem­man, is a pil­lar in the Le­banese gas­tron­omy; it is pre­pared by boil­ing the sour fruits’ juice un­til it thick­ens and sugar is some­times added. Pome­gran­ate mo­lasses is used in sal­ads and veg­e­tar­ian pas­tries as a sub­sti­tute for lemon juice; it is also used to mar­i­nate meat and adds rich fla­vors to makanek, Le­banese sausages.

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