Pomegranates are a fantastic versatile fruit that are becoming increasingly popular with the Australian public. We are at the start of the Australian season which lasts from mid Autumn to the end of Winter, and they can be grown pretty well anywhere in Australia. They are a very ancient fruit originating in the Eastern Mediterranean regions and found for thousands of years in Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan. The seeds are the part you eat and uses include juicing (best done with a food processor), in salads, as a dessert or just as a snack. It’s been a tough road for Aussie producers, for 25 years anyone who invested heavily went broke but now we seem to really appreciate this fruit. With lots of different varieties that can vary in taste I would say that don’t judge a book by its cover. Our supermarkets demand red all over fruit, which is often a long way from the best eating. If you travel in the East they will pick a pomegranate that is more yellow than red, not nearly as attractive, but they probably have it right after 3000 odd years. The seeds, or arils as they are referred to are extremely high in antioxidants, increasing the popularity of this fruit. Try a cracker with goat’s cheese and the arils sprinkled over the top for a real treat. They store very well in the household fridge, so when you see them at the right price buy with confidence!
HOW TO PICK
When buying, choose fruit that feels heavy - it will be full of juicy arils.
HOW TO STORE
Whole pomegranates stay fresh in the fridge for up to 2 months, or in a cool, dark place for 1 month.