Autumn in Southern Italy Means Pomegranates

Do you like pomegranates?

Do you remember the first time you struggled with the intricate webbing and seeds?

The first time the juice ran all over the place, staining everything in its path–the tablecloth, your chin, your fingers?

I don’t remember it either, but luckily every October brings another chance for me to relive it.

No matter how many pomegranates I’ve eaten, the first one of the season always takes me back to being a child, just trying to figure out how to eat the thing without making a huge mess in the process.

I still haven’t mastered it, but that’s OK. It sure is fun trying.

Please share your pomegranate tales (and recipes)!

Buon weekend!

34 Beans of Wisdom to “Autumn in Southern Italy Means Pomegranates”
  1. To be honest I still don’t know how to eat them. ha

    The only “recipe” I know is a Pomegranate Cooler. There was a restaurant in L.A. I used to go to called Luna Park. They had this drink I tried to make at home. You have to play around with how much pomegranate juice to put in. I would use one portion pomegranate to three portions of orange juice

    Pomegranate juice
    Orange juice
    splash of ginger ale or seltzer
    splash (or more) of vodka

    mix well, pour over ice.

    nyc/caribbean ragazza’s last blog post..Flashback Friday – Mc Hammer – “Can’t Touch This”

    Now *this* is a great way to start my morning πŸ˜‰ Grazie!

  2. Gil

    I remember doing more damage to a nice handmade lace table cloth trying to eat a pomegranate than was usually done wine sugo and wine.

    Beautiful picture!

    Thanks πŸ™‚ Pomegranates were the one thing P’s mom warned me about regarding tablecloths and clothes. It *won’t* come out, she assured me….

  3. awedree

    Ha! Michelle, I love this! Do you know that right now I have pomegranate waiting to be eatein in my fridge?! So we actually take apart the actual pods/seeds apart from the webbing and put it all in a big bowl and serve it as an after-dinner fruit dessert. I’m too lazy of course (lol) but am lucky enough to have pomagranate-phile father. He actually puts on a apron and wears gloves to protect his clothes and the kitchen! Also, here’s a suggestion: sprinkle just a bit of salt to neutralize some of the tartness.

    Enjoy! I know I will
    Have a great weekend πŸ™‚

    Hah! Well I hope you enjoy your pomegranate and don’t stain anything too badly πŸ˜‰ Great idea for dessert!

  4. 10.10.2008

    I roared with laughter :-)…the image is just so funny. I haven’t managed to eat one without the juices going everywhere,
    running all over my hands, on the table or wherever I am trying to eat it. We (Me and my two sons) all love pomegrantes, can just see us trying to eat one,
    must introduce my grandchildren to them!!! I think I would just get a big big cloth in the middle of the floor, put pomegrantes in the middle, and join them!!!

    anne’s last blog post..Outing with friend in Oxford…

    Sounds like lots of fun Anne! You definitely have to get your grandchildren loving them too πŸ™‚

  5. 10.10.2008

    They certainly are a strange thing to eat, a bit like the prickly pears but I do enjoy them. It is more of a pass time, picking each seed out one at a time.
    It is a symbol of fertility in many cultures. Beautiful photos !

    Vee’s last blog post..Dead Woman Walking.

    Excellent point, Vee. You gotta want these to play with them that long just for some seeds, delicious as they are πŸ˜‰

  6. 10.10.2008

    It is perhaps unfortunate that I was taught mythology in elementary school. I like pomegranates, but real love has been prevented by my fear that if I eat too much of it I will spend six months of every year in hell. Sort of like Maine, where I lived as a child. Snow equals hell.

    It is my kid’s favorite fruit, but she was born in Florida.

    Judith in Umbria’s last blog post..Made in America: pulled pork sandwiches

    I think we got to mythology around middle school, and ironically, I was drawn more to pomegranates after that…was amazing to think these strange things have been around so very long, and I guess I like to tempt fate πŸ˜‰

  7. The first time I had them was last year! Can you believe it? I don’t have any mess. Peppe’s zia puts them in a bowl, ready to eat with a spoon.

    Yes, I am spoiled.

    Cherrye at My Bella Vita’s last blog post..Six Italian Idioms You Can Learn Today

    We’ll I’ve never had persimmons, so I think we’re pretty much even πŸ˜‰ And you really should try to eat one yourself just for the fun…just wear something old πŸ˜‰

  8. 10.10.2008

    I remember one of my first conversations with my husband, he was telling me about his land and all the different trees he had, and I found it so interesting that there were pomegranates. Up until then I’d only had pomegranate juice. Now we have a big bowl of pomegranates sitting on the kitchen table…where I thought they’d sit for weeks untouched because they’re so much work, but your post has made me rethink that. You’ve reawakened my love of pomegranates!

    KC’s last blog post..Did I really just read that?

    How wonderful! I think you really have to look at pomegranates like a fun project more than anything else πŸ˜‰

  9. Scicchi

    They absolutely bring back memories of childhood. My Dad would take me and my sister fishing in these little fishing holes behind the town he grew up in, and this time of year, he’d always stop and grab a pomegranate(or “indian apple” as we knew them) to take with us! He would be the one to disect it and we just reaped the reward! πŸ™‚

    Hah! Not surprisingly since we’re from the same place, I was introduced to these as Indian Apples too! In fact, I don’t think I knew it was a “pomegranate” until we did mythology in school….

  10. 10.10.2008

    I love pomegranates! I haven’t had one in forever, but eating one always brings to mind the story of Persephone, daughter of Demeter (goddess of grain and fertility) and Zeus.

    So lovely was she that Hades (the god of the underworld) fell in love. Her father, Zeus agreed to allow Hades to marry her, but instead of wooing her, Hades abducted Persephone, and took her to his world of darkness.

    Demeter heard her daughter’s cries and began to search for her. She was so upset by her daughter’s abduction, and in learning that Zeus had betrayed her, that she withdrew her blessing from the earth and it became cold and dark with nothing growing.

    Zeus saw his error and sent the god Hermes to negotiate to bring back Persephone.

    Hades loved Persephone and by this time she also loved him, but she missed her mother and her home. He agreed to allow her to return, but because she had eaten of the food of the underworld (seven pomegranate seeds), she was bound to the underworld forever. It was agreed that for four months each year Persephone would remain in the underworld with Hades. For the remainder of the year, she could return to her home and be with her mother.

    Since that time, when Persephone visits, Demeter is happy and the world is fertile and beautiful. But, during the four months that Persephone visits Hades, the earth is barren and cold (as Demeter grieves for her daughter and withholds her blessings from the earth).

    Let this be a lesson to you to never invite a storyteller to share a story!

    This Eclectic Life’s last blog post..Link Love Again

    Thanks for sharing Shelly! I remember the story well from when we studied mythology in school; I always loved mythology!

  11. 10.10.2008

    Oh absolutely adore pomegranate. They bring back childhood memories. My Dad would always buy them and share them with me. The holidays arrive and my Mother always brings me the biggest one she can find in the markets. It has become a tradition. Now as an avid pomegranate eater I have to share my trick for cleaning them. Fill a bowl with water and pull the fruit apart under the water. The plump seeds will fall to the bottom of the bowl and the bitter white flesh will float on the surface. Best of all- NO SPLASHES! NO STAINS! Once finished drain the water and and you are left with a bowl of delicious fruit! Buon Appetitio!

    Susan’s last blog post..Chocolate Eclair Cake

    OK, I’m trying to focus on pomegranates, but what I’m seeing now is “Chocolate Eclair Cake.” Ahem. Thanks for the tips on cleaning!

  12. Frank

    You surely picked a good one! Even in the midwest, most of the big Italian and other European grocery stores have been offering this delicious fruit and its juice in combination with Cranberry, blueberry etc, and are being used regularly. It was interesting to read all the Greek history on this item and it was pleasing to know that you have a bunch of Litterati READING YOUR ISSUES. KEEP UP

    Grazie mille Frank πŸ™‚ Hope you’re enjoying your share of pomegranates!

  13. zarina

    l luv pomegranates eventhough the eating part could be tricky. i’ll pick each seed out carefully coz it’s pretty expensive here. we get ours frm Spain which is sweet & delicious and the ones frm India has a bitter & sour taste. May be its due to the different climate. But i hvn’t seen pomegranates in the market this yr. i don’t knw why but could it be due to the climate changes that’s taking place globally? anyway the only recipes that i’ve knw which uses this fruit is in juices (Martha stewart’s) & in salads ( Nigella’s).

    zarina’s last blog post..A LIGHT & DELICATE PUDDING TO DELIGHT ……..

    Mmm salads…excellent idea πŸ™‚ Thanks for stopping by zarina!

  14. 10.10.2008

    I love pomegranate and one of my favourite recipes is a pineapple, orange and pomegranate fruit salad with cinnamon, cloves and rosewater. It’s deeply yummy.

    I also have a fantastic tip for getting pomegranate seeds out. I read it in one of Nigella Lawson’s cookbooks, so can’t claim ownership, but here goes: cut the pomegranate in half and, standing over a basin or bowl and preferably wearing an apron, hit the outside of the fruit firmly with a wooden spoon. The seeds will rain out into the bowl. Repeat with the other half.

    Charlotte’s last blog post..Garrulous Girls and Other Orphans

    Thanks so much for tips Charlotte *and* that fabulous salad. Rosewater…love it!

  15. 10.10.2008

    I love pomagranate from the time when i was young.
    When my sister’s son was three years she used to spread the seeds in a huge servingplate for her son, and he would be busy picking one by one and eating them. He was quiet then for a long time πŸ™‚
    I have this delicious recipe with pomagranate in my place
    If you want to see thepic you cab check out the link
    here is the recipe

    2 Pomegranate.
    2 Kiwi sliced
    1 Grapefruit sliced
    1 soup spoon cane sugar / or just sugar
    1 tsp ginger powder

    Mix everything together and serve .
    Didn’t I say it is so easy πŸ™‚

    Happy Cook’s last blog post..Brocoli Soup

    Such a cute story, and thanks so much for the recipe πŸ™‚ YUM!

  16. 10.10.2008

    Oh…I DO! Heavens…we were just hiking around in our area (sort of…it was a bit of a drive) and discovered a pomegranate tree out at an old ranch house, and no one but the wasps seemed interested…I picked one, and enjoyed it very very much! I should have picked more as they were just falling on the ground and going to waste…

    sadira’s last blog post..Well Hello…

    Well now you know for next time…more pomegranates!

  17. 10.10.2008

    This was always our “unusual fruit” for the start of the Jewish New Year – Rosh Hashanah. It’s traditional to have a “non-traditional” fruit on the second night.

    I love pomegranate and am so glad there are so many pomegranate-based products out there these days.

    jen of a2eatwrite’s last blog post..World Hunger Day, pt. 2 – How you can help

    So interesting Jen! I had no idea πŸ™‚

  18. 10.10.2008

    Oh, I do love pomegranates too!! I live in NJ – so we do get them in our produce section, but I have to tell you.. 4 years ago, I visited Montenegro (my husband was born there). I was walking along a city street when I saw my first pomegranate tree. OMG.. what a delight. The fruit wasn’t ripe yet, but I did pick one off just for the fun of it.

    bella’s last blog post..mid week freaking ~ or ~ yeah, i’m back to work

    Excellent work bella πŸ™‚

  19. 10.10.2008

    I don’t have any recipes, I just love them plain πŸ™‚

    Janet’s last blog post..Friday Fill-Ins #93

    Me too Janet πŸ™‚

  20. 10.10.2008

    This really does bring back childhood memories. My parents had a pomegranate tree in the yard and it produced some nice big juicy fruit. I never attempted to eat one indoors for fear of what I might get juice on. After us kids grew up and moved out my parents started giving pomegranates out to the kids trick or treating who came to the door. I couldn’t believe this and thought the kids were getting a bum deal and gave my mom a hard time about it. Then one day I ran into one of the kids that was a recipient of the fruit and they said that they always enjoyed going to my parent’s house and getting pomegranates. Go figure, I personally would have felt gypped not getting any candy.

    Ice Tea For Me’s last blog post..a belated post

    What a great memory! I have to admit, I think I would’ve preferred candy during my trick or treat days too, but my grandmother sure would’ve loved that pomegranate in my bag πŸ˜‰

  21. 10.10.2008

    I have still never actually eaten a fresh pomegranate…..shame*

    I do love anything and everything that’s pomegranate flavored. I’ll make it one of my autumnal quests to eat a fresh one!

    Eryn’s last blog post..Don’t Vote…

    Well it’s a great goal to have Eryn πŸ™‚

  22. 10.11.2008

    Although I appreciate their beauty, I just can’t be bothered to go through all the effort required to eat them. Too much work for too little reward!

    saretta’s last blog post..Via Pietro Colletta

    Well I can certainly appreciate your viewpoint; I feel similarly about prickly pears πŸ˜‰

  23. 10.11.2008

    Oh Michelle, I love pomegranates too; most often use them in a salad. You can make a grenadine out of them, & use that as a base for coolers/sherbets. You can also make molasses out of them, which are a traditional ingredient in Middle Eastern cooking.:0)

    Deeba’s last blog post..MANGO JELLY MOUSSE WITH CHOCOLATE…bidding a sweet farewell!

    Ooh the molasses sounds lovely Deeba!

  24. 10.12.2008

    Oh how I looooove pomegranates. I can’t wait to buy my first of the season!

    Nice site!!


    Liz’s last blog post..Magazine Subscription Giveaway!

    Enjoy Liz!

  25. 10.12.2008

    Your photos make my mouth water. I don’t know how to eat them, but they are in our markets now, so I’ll give it another try πŸ™‚

    poppy fields’s last blog post..Finally

    Woohoo! Hope it goes well πŸ™‚

  26. Maryann

    Hi Michelle!
    I have a Pomegranite and Red Wine Granita on my recipe page! Here is the link for your readers….

    I also have a Pomegranite Merlot Reduction that is wonderful during the cooler months for game or roasts.
    I love pomegranites. The inside are like rubies! And the taste is awesome!

    Have a good weekend, Michelle,
    Maryann xox

    Maryann’s last blog post..Italian Pineapple Salsa

    Awesome Maryann! Thanks for sharing πŸ™‚

  27. 10.12.2008

    I’ve never tried pomegranate, but have always wanted to. Maybe one day : ) It’s not the same, but my favorite perfume and lotion is pomegranate, so I really should try it.

    Erin’s last blog post..β€œI See What You’re Saying” Video Post…because it wasn’t enough to just be dumb in writing!

    Ooh I’m curious as to what it smells like. Sounds lovely!

  28. 10.12.2008

    I just love pomegranates too!

    I remember eating pomegranates and persimmons when I was very young . It takes me way back. They are both favorites of mine.

    Well, thanks for stopping by for a sugary visit! πŸ˜‰ You’ll have to come by for the halloween blog party on your birthday. I’ll save some special treats for you!!

    Take care, Deb

    Debbbie Egizio’s last blog post..IF: Sugary

    So great to see you here Debbie; I’ll definitely come around on the 18th πŸ™‚

  29. 10.13.2008


    I just found your beautiful blog over at Somepinkflowers. I enjoyed reading about your love for pomegranates. I’m in middle age and just had my FIRST one! I loved it. I look forward to having many more messy treats.

    I’ll be back again.



    shiborigirl’s last blog post..I’m “It”! I’ve Been Tagged

    So lovely to see you here Kate! Looking forward to getting to know you as well πŸ™‚

  30. Dawn


    Hey! I have to say that I personally love pomegranates. We have a huge tree in the back yard but I have been known to casually take walks past the neighbor’s farming land near us to take grab some more when ours are finished. I only take the red ripe ones that are left hanging over into the roadside, and he never ever eats them, so they are fair game. πŸ™‚ He lives in “the city center” and he passes by sometimes. However, he never actually farms his land, so I didn’t want them to go to waste. He obviously caught on to the pomegranate eating culprit because he told Domenico to tell me that I could actually go inside the gate and pick the fruit.,-) I don’t know how he knew it was me, but maybe the trail of the yellowish webbing peels and the seeds leading to my house could have been a clue. hahahaha I usually carry a knife (my now typical Calabrian habit) to the tree and start peeling and eating it on the way back home, thus my evidence trail. They say you can make an excellent healthy drink( clears arteries and keeps them healthy),but I don’t know how to make it by separating the seeds. However, I’m sure it would be great. I would also like to find and try of those some tasty persian recipes to use with them. πŸ™‚ On a lazy Sunday, I have to cut loose and make something different. Sounds fun huh? Hugs,

    You’re so lucky to be surrounded by so many pomegranates (and willing donors) πŸ˜‰

  31. 10.14.2008

    I’m not a big fan of pomegranates (the seeds) but I do like Pom juice, especially in a martini!

    Cheers Nate!

  32. i remember a neighbour close to my grandparent’s home having a tree and we were always thrilled to be able to pick a few. they were such a treat. i think it was fun due to the challenge of trying to get those little juicy pods out. still haven’t mastered a good way and they are a lot of work for so little reward but it’s almost addictive just trying. each time thinking i’m going to master it this time!
    i’m sure enjoying my new pomegranate & mango shower gel – mmhhh ……. it’s not any fancy schmancy stuff either. shelf stock straight from the grocery market. : )

    collette~all over the map’s last blog post..knitting 101

    Ooh the shower gel sounds wonderful! And yes, lots of work with pomegranates, but for those of us who love challenges….

  33. Krystal

    I just got done eating a really delicious pomegranate. I use a pomegranate soap and drink the POM juices as well! I just recently got my 4 year old step daughter into them. I make her eat them in the tub though, lol. I can honestly say that as long as Im not having my wine with pomegranate juice miixed in, I am fully able to eat them…CLEAN!

    I have to say I think I made great strides this year in the messy factor…just takes practice (and what delicious practice it is) πŸ˜‰

  1. [...] when we were talking about pomegranates a while back? Well I’ve enjoyed many more since then, and ...
Michelle KaminskyMichelle Kaminsky is an American attorney-turned-freelance writer who lived in her family's ancestral village in Calabria, Italy for 15 years. This blog is now archived. 

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