Carthaginian Apples? Errr....sounds familiar?
Tis the season for pomegranates (or Carthaginian Apples, as was once known in ancient days when they were first introduced into Italy via the port city of Carthage) and with the help of modern freight transportation, nowadays one can easily find this imported fruit in supermarkets across Singapore. Pic above shows pomegranates from Spain, at least according to Cold Storage Supermarket where I bought them. Truth be told, I wouldn't know the difference betweeen this variety and the other varieties cultivated in in Iran (apparently, the pomegranate's native land), India, the Mediterranean countries, California (USA) and even parts of Southern China, since I haven't been introduced to these other varieties as yet in our local supermarkets.
Hubby and I have never tried pomegranates before, and the waxy orange-reddish orbs beautifully displayed in a sandbox at the supermarket called out to us, the virgin explorers. Returning home, I stared at these orbs without an inkling as to how to open or devour them. Some 'googling' was definitely required, and resulted in this wonderful site that had a 3-step 'no-mess' method for removing the sacs - link provided here.
After breaking apart one of them, the red/pinkish sacs (the edible portion) are scooped out and separated from the pale membrane that envelopes them in segments within the fruit. As the juicy sacs looked really inviting, they went straight into glasses which contained 2 parts cranberry juice stirred together with 3 parts Sprite (or Seven-Up) and a shot of vodka - very, very refreshing. It's no wonder that Persephone (the Greek goddess of spring) couldn't resist the temptation of consuming almost the entire fruit while she was held captive in Hades (Greek lore).
Loved the burst of sweet, slightly tangy taste of the juice of the pomegranates when I bit into the sacs - not exactly taken with the aril seeds within but as they seemed crunchy enough, we just chewed and swallowed them (for additional fibre) instead of wasting too much time spitting them out.
Lovely virginal experience with these 'Carthaginian apples', and can't wait to try them out in salads and desserts! More to come!