Of Purple, and of Scarlet: The Mysterious Pomegranate

“And beneath upon the hem of it thou shalt make pomegranates of blue, and of purple, and of scarlet, round about the hem thereof …” Exodus 28:33-34 Every autumn, just as leaves finally fall from the trees and gardens wilt and squashes go wild with bumps, I pass quickly by the bins of scarlet pomegranates…

The Artful Pomegranate

Guarded treasure, honeycomb partitions, Richness of flavour, Pentagonal architecture. The rind splits; seeds fall– Crimson seeds in azure bowls, Or drops of gold in dishes of enamelled bronze. —André Gide in Les Nourritures Terrestres (trans. Dorothy Bussy) Like the pomegranate itself, so ripe and bursting with seeds, the history of this berry-like fruit reveals more…

The Archaeology of the Pomegranate

Our sense of the ancientness of the pomegranate comes not just from words, but also from the earth. Words do provide clues to the incredible journey of the pomegranate, such as this little ditty inscribed in Egyptian hieroglyphics — said to be translated by Ezra Pound and Noel Stock, from an Italian rendition by Boris…

Nightly She Sings on Yon Pomegranate-Tree

Magic and myth wind through the history of many foods. At the crux of these stories the very mysteries of life clamor for explanation. In the Greek myth of Demeter and Persephone, for example, it’s possible to feel the foreboding of ancient humans when the first chill kissed the air and darkness descended over leafless…