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Monday, October 13, 2008

Pomegranates

Pomegranate terraces in Oman


Agent Triple P has recently returned from the delightful country of Oman. Whilst there we were served a bowl of fresh pomegranate at the home of a leading Omani government figure. The pomegranates of Oman are considered some of the very best in the world and are grown on precipitous terraces in the Al Jabal Al Akhdar (Green Mountains) situated inland from the capital, Muscat.


This is all very apposite given Lady Rosemary's item on them in her Time for Food blog.


The pomegranate I had was very different from the rather dried up specimens I have had in the UK, with large and juicy seeds. The trees there can grow up to 25 feet tall and in the mountains the temperature varies from as low as 6 degrees to 38 degrees Celsius, so they have to be hardy trees indeed. Pomegranate trees are some of the oldest cultivated trees on earth with eveidence that they have been specifically farmed for over 5,000 years.

Proserpine by Dante Gabriel Rossetti


As Lady Rosemary's blog mentions pomegranates are inextricably linked with the Greek myth of Proserpine (Persephone). It was her eating six seeds of the pomegranate (the fruit of the dead) that destined her to live for six months of the year in the underworld. Lady R is a woman of Pre-Raphaelite demeanour herself and it is her fate as well to spend half of her time in her own subterranean underworld, no doubt because she ate her pomegranate seeds in the past.

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