Driving over Pomegranates in Periana

No this is not a sequel to the best selling book by Chris Stewart, Driving over Lemons but our way of drawing attention to the odd times we live in.

The Fruit Hand Grenade

Around us at Cantueso this autumn we have the sight of grapes withering on the vine, figs rotting on the floor underneath the trees and yes pomegranates on the side of the road.  Food for free but nobody seems bothered.  Just look too at the Spanish supermarkets that sell Israeli oranges and imported lemons from the Americas and yet they grow well here.  Yes, we know that fruit is not always in season, but with the all year round varieties of lemon grown in Spain, there can be no excuse. It is even more strange to find that buying blueberries in Spain is difficult but if you buy them in the UK, the country of origin on the pack is Spain.  Maybe it is our fault as consumers and we really should only buy things in season.


The fruit Hand Grenade

A Pomegranate is of course called Granada in Spanish and the city that takes its name from the fruit also has it as part of the city’s coat of arms.  In Spanish it is also the word for a grenade, and when you see the ripe fruit bursting open, packed with hundreds of tiny red seeds it is easy to see why.

In the lanes and byways around Cantueso here in Periana there are many bushes growing wild and at this time of year spilling their fruit onto the roadside. Take a walk and enjoy.

In recent years much has been written about the health giving properties of the fruit, no doubt in part, promoted by the fruit juice manufacturers but there seems to be a consensus that it really is one of the “super fruits.”

Some of the claims:

One pomegranate contains tons of nutrition… and best of all, it’s low in calories.  In just one pomegranate fruit there is around 100 calories and only about 25g of sugar. But that’s only the beginning of the nutrition pomegranate provides:a great source of potassium

more antioxidants compared to other juices and even wine!

vitamin B and Vitamin C

great source of fibre

helps prevent heart disease

keeps your immune system in top notch conditions

prevents build-up of material in your arteries

There are many drinks and even foods that are made with the pomegranate and it is now becoming more commercialized and can be found in supermarkets in a variety of forms.  The most popular is pomegranate juice but there are also pomegranate jellies, pomegranate wine, and even pomegranate salad dressing.

Unfortunately the commercial growth of Pomegranates has been largely left to America (after the Spanish introduced it) and Africa.  However for those of us that live around Periana it is easy to grow as the climate is ideal, and you could expect a crop after about four years.  If you are a visitor or can’t wait, just be nice to your neighbours!

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