More than just good for you, it symbolizes life itself.
The Punica Granatum (pomegranate; "Nur" in Armenian) has much more going for it than just as a fabulously tasty fruit. It literally nourished the country in times of strife, and has come to mean the very existence of life itself.
According to Armenian lore, the pomegranate is the only fruit that has 365 seeds, one for each day of the year. Armenians believe if you eat one seed a day, you will find health (always health comes first, for without it, you can't enjoy any other benefit) and good fortune.
Whether true or not (I've never counted to see if there is one for each day, and what about leap years anyway?) the pomegranate does have significant health benefits.
"It is more than life, it is more than our symbol. It is the sweet pain of existence."
Pomegranate as Culture Identity
The pomegranate is a fruit that contains hundreds of edible seeds called arils. They are rich in fiber, vitamins, minerals and bioactive plant compounds, but they also contain some sugar.Pomegranates have an almost mystical quality about them, and are kept to heart by all the cultures of the region: Persians, Georgians, Turks, Kurds and Armenians all consider this deeply luscious fruit a powerful spiritual connector to their lands. There is an almost otherworldly beauty to the fruit. Originating on the Armenian Plateau, traces of the fruit are found in excavations at sites dating to the Neolithic period.
The pomegranate has since come to symbolize prosperity, fertility, invincibility, and to some, the limitless potential of immortality.
And what other fruit thrives under such punishing conditions? The plants favors dry, arid, HOT weather and in Armenia, it thrives on rocky soils that one would think yield nothing but stone blocks. The fruit bursts forth on limbs you would think would break under the weight of them, yet they do not, and the fruit gushes its blood red as it is peeled, a blood of the ages, one old man his face etched with the wisdom of having been there, told me on his farm in the Ararat valley, "It is more than life, it is more than our symbol. It is the sweet pain of existence."
Nur for the Hill Country
And we're getting ready to introduce Armenian Pomegranate varieties to the Hill Country!
In about three years if all goes well, "Ararat" and "Karbakh" will be available from the Texas Food Ranch!
Watch us grow!
Use these links to find out more about the history and culture of the pomegranate:
Pomegranate History and Timeline
Fresh Clips: Pomegranate -- Fruit of Life (Mother Jones)
Pomegranates: the Promise of Eden
Pomegranate - The Fruit of Armenia
Pomegranate, symbol of Armenia