October is a rather strange month in Andalusia. It's a transitional month where colds sneak out and attack you because you are still insist on wearing your flip-flops to the bank. It's a strange month because we often find ourselves tenaciously hanging onto the summer, resenting the chores of log purchasing, going back to a new cycle of work or study or simply resenting the inevitable digging out the duvet from under the stairs.
Thankfully the season change brings certain benefits, such as the abundance pomegranates into our shops.
Pomegranates and Breeze Blocks
This week I picked my own pomegranates from a tree planted just a couple of years back. We had not had a tremendous success with garden grown veg these last few years, as fruit grown in this very urban setting - surrounded as it is by gorgeous high breeze block walls is hardly conducive to our hopes for bio diversity. Still...a pomegranate is a pomegranate.
Picking the fruit, I was transported back to a conversation I had in the early 90’s when I was renting a room in a flat in Seville:
Early 1990's, Seville: Enter Stage left:
“They are from my Dad’s farm in Granada”, she grunted as a crate of yellow and red pomegranets were hauled into the kitchen.
“ I used to eat them as a kid” I added, thinking desperately of something to say to my new landlady. Perhaps Pomegranates were a popular subject between landlady and tenant. I volunteered a British perspective on the fruit: “Yes, we would eat the seeds using a pin whilst watching 'The Generation Game'.”
She stopped stacking the crates and turned to me. “What? A pin?”
“Yup. Pin them out, seed by seed, as the gifts were going by on the conveyer belt. 'Cuddly toy, Tea cosy...Pencil and rubber'..."
“Youre one weird guiri” she said, picking up a knife and one fruit and slicing the top off. Then carefully slitting the pomegranate into slices before breaking it open into quarters. Deftly using her thumbs to scrape the blood red seeds into a bowl of water, I watched as the fruit fell to the bottom and the yellow pulp floated to the top. She then turned and said, “Essential combination food" she said, "for women”.
“Of course” I nodded, wondering if it had been Generation Game or The Golden Shot?
“A great blood builder” she said as she took out a natural yoghurt from the fridge, scooped it into a bowl and added honey and the seeds. “Skin toner, stops osteoporosis and sagging breasts”.
“Of course” I said, unsure whether to mention she ought to up her dosage. Her... bones looked weak.
“Good for your eyes too, Pablo, reduces viral infections, blood pressure and teeth decay. And did you know its a symbol of fertility and abundance? It is why Granada was named after the fruit”.
“Not the British TV Channel then?” I replied trying to keep the subject consistent.
My Favourite Pomegranate Dish
Pomegranate means “seeded apple” (pom = apple, Gran = grain or seed). It is also the emblematic fruit that appears on the coat of arms for Granada city here in Andalusia (Granada being the Spanish word for Pomegranate).
- Peel Fruit as described above and separate from pulp in bowl of water.
- Mix seeds with fresh natural yoghurt
- Add a little honey
- Keep in fridge. Later eat or smear over respective parts before bed
Actually, I think I might have mis-translated number four.