The other weekend, while browsing the farmers’ market, Luca stopped dead in his tracks upon seeing a giant pile of pomegranates. One was cracked open with hot pink seeds tumbling out. He grabbed my arm and said “Can I try that?”. We’ve had pomegranates around the house before, but this is the first time they’ve made a real impression on him. We tasted and after a few moments, Luca gave his thumbs up and offered this perfectly succinct description of the flavor: “the original SweeTart” (referring of course to those candy pellets which show up in his Halloween trick or treat bag). I couldn’t have said it better myself. Honestly, the kid kills me with those haiku-like pronouncements. I wish I had the gift.
Naturally, we bought a few pomegranates and, while we have featured recipes on the blog for pomegranate granita and jam, we’ve just been enjoying them au natural. I give a small chunk to our little guy and he finds it quite entertaining to sit there and pick out the seeds and pop them into his mouth. If you don’t mind pink hands and juice-stained clothes it’s great fun. Luca, our kindergarten chef, was inspired to create a simple sweet-tart fruit salad that features pomegranate seeds and some of his other favorite ingredients of the moment: clementines and those frozen “pineapple tidbits” you can buy at Trader Joes. [My kids are obsessed with eating the little pineapple chunks right from the freezer]. We’ve been making this fruit salad every night and I have to say it’s quite addictive. The contrast of colors is beautiful, there’s a great balance of sweetness and tartness and the crunch of the pomegranate seeds, softness of the oranges and the pop of cold from the frozen pineapple give it textural complexity. This is a truly refreshing snack or dessert.
Luca’s “Original Sweet Tart” Fruit Salad
(makes enough for 1 kid)
- 1 seedless clementine, peeled and sectioned
- 1 handful of pomegranate seeds
- 1/4 cup of frozen pineapple (1/2″ pieces so you can easily bite through them, or buy “Frozen Pineapple Tidbits” at Trader Joe’s)
Combine the fruit and enjoy!
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Luca and I also took a few minutes to look up the history of the pomegranate and found a few interesting facts:
- Pomegranates are actually part of the berry family and are native to the area that is modern day Iran.
- Pomegranates are most commonly enjoyed as a fruit or a juice, but throughout the middle east you’ll also find pomegranate molasses (a syrupy reduction of the juice) that is used to add a tart element to many dishes.
- In Indian cuisine the seeds are used as a spice called anardana.
- In Mexico, you’ll find them in a dish called chiles en nogada where their red color represents the red of the Mexican flag alongside the green poblano chiles and the white nogada sauce.