I trust that you are drinking your pomegranate juice or getting your MDR (minimal daily requirement) of the fruit in some other fashion.  Dear Husband takes softgels which we get from Costco.  And he also buys pom juice concentrate at the local market, Fairway, which he mixes with water and grape juice.  Why?  Because he says he can’t drink it straight.  It’s the taste, stupid.

DH is not the only one who likes to grouse about the palatability of the pomegranate. I hear this all the time — if you ask me, it’s like a bonding ritual.  Maybe that’s because for guys with prostate cancer, pom juice is the “cod liver oil” of yesteryear.  It’s hard to swallow, but you just gotta just hold your nose and do it.  Like so many other things in Cancerworld.  

A couple of guys have written me offline to say that they really like pomegranates.   But they are too ashamed to admit it in public.

It bothers me that the pomegranate “don’t get no respect,” in Rodney Dangerfield’s words.  I like to stick up for underdogs anyway, but in this case I take the pom-bashing personally.

First of all, I love the taste of the fruit.  It is not cloying like so many others.  Maybe I like tart because I am a tart? 🙂

But I do prefer the taste of pomegranate in moderation:  For example, I use just a dash of the concentrate to season a whole pitcher of water.  It’s yummy, healthy and lo-cal.  I feel bad because Ted has taken to hiding his little bottle of pom juice concentrate in the vegetable bin under a pile of greens so that I don’t help myself to it.  

I also enjoy eating pomegranates whole.  For me, part of it is nostalgia. At home we used to eat poms on special occasions like Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year, because this fruit has always been considered sacred in that tradition.  The reason:  It was produced in the Holy Land and is mentioned in the Hebrew Bible many times;  it’s got a lot of seeds, which signifies reproduction and good luck;  and folklore has it that the pomegranate contains exactly 613 seeds, the same number of “mitzvahs,” or commandments, in the Torah.

I must say I was surprised to read about the above on the Costco web site, of all places.  The company sells some good pom products, and so they provide a brief history of the fruit.  Apparently, the pomegranate has been revered for millenia by many different cultures.  The ancients were not as dumb as we think: they recognized the pom’s powerful health benefits.  In fact:

“Pomegranates thrived as the preferred food of kings and nobles for centuries.”

And I’ll bet the gods ate it, too.  

And there’s more: The pomegranate featured prominently in Ancient Egyptian mythology and art.  It was also regarded by the Egyptians as a symbol of passage into the next life.  Poms were found alongside the many treasures buried in the tomb of King Tut.

So how do you like that?  Lowly becomes holy.

I went to the liquor store recently to buy some red wine for Ted.  On a nearby shelf I spotted some “Pomegranate Schnapps” made by Hiram Walker, which was recently introduced.  I tell you, the pomegranate’s time has come!  There was also a pom liqueur called PAMA.  What caught my eye was the florid language on the label:

Experience a unique blend of mythology, seduction and forbidden fruit.  The pomegranate is a mystical,  mythical food that has spanned the years.  The pomegranate is so ancient it appears in the earliest folklore and mythology.  And the pomegranate is so modern that it has become the not-so-forbidden fruit of those making tomorrow’s myths.”

So go ahead guys, make my myths!

And be sure to drink to your health.  

Cheers, Salute, L’Chaim, Skoal, A Votre Sante, Slaint, Nazdrovye. . .