Growing Pomegranate in Alabama
My momma was recently on the Rick and Bubba Show, and she mentioned our pomegranate trees in passing. My grandmother owns a farm supply in Verbena, Alabama, and she told me after the show a woman came in the store asking for a pomegranate tree! The woman was unaware that they could grow in Alabama.
The pomegranates are blooming in our orchard now. The flowers look attractive even after they lose their petals for its’ calyx is large and showy. The flowers are not why we bought the tree though; it’s the fruit that is valued.
The flavor of the fruit is somewhere in between sweet and sour, depending on the variety. Its arils (the flesh covering the seed) are used all around the world in the form of juice, syrup, and sauces. They also can be eaten whole with the seeds as a topping to deserts or salads.
The pomegranates are not only good, but are good for you, too! The fruit’s arils are high in vitamin C and potassium. The seeds are rich in fiber and are a source of unsaturated oils.
In Alabama the pomegranate harvest season is usually between August and September. During that time, we use pomegranates in all sorts of recipes.
For example, we add them raw into our granola, over pancakes, and in our salads. Additionally, I mix the raw fruit with a fabulous pomegranate reduction to pour over quail, duck, and turkey.
The possibilities for dessert dishes are endless. Just for starters, we make pomegranate syrup for our ice cream topping and use concentrated pomegranate juice to make sherbet. Pomegranate cake is divine, and pomegranate jam is excellent as well.
Pomegranates have been used since creation and will certainly continue to be used for generations to come. I highly recommend growing pomegranate to harvest for your own recipes!
How to Make Pomegranate Syrup
Crush pomegranates into a mesh colander until you have 1 cup on juice.
Strain the juice through a cheese cloth for a very smooth consistency.
Place juice with 1/2 cup of sugar into a small saucepan and bring to a boil for about a minute or until sugar dissolves.
Spoon over pound cake, ice cream, meringue, or your favorite dessert for a sweet dish. Or spoon over venison steaks, duck, or turkey for a different and awesome savory dish! Enjoy and be healthy!