Glistening like edible rubies in the evening light, pomegranates on display in street stalls in the muslim quarter of Xian made me stop in my tracks. Regular readers of the blog have probably figured out I have a thing for pomegranates and this display was just too good to be true. I had no idea we were near the epicenter of delicious pomegranates in China, a result of trading along the silk road for hundreds of years… originally from Iran, the seeds somehow made their way to this part of China and have thrived on the fertile plains and mountainsides near Xian. While they are in season in September and October, I gather they go into a chilled warehouse and they seem to have the fruit for most of the year.
We had just consumed four dishes for dinner (and me a Coke), but I had no hesitation in getting a freshly squeezed glass of juice. It was absolutely delicious. I can only imagine how much better it would be if the fruit had been freshly harvested. So refreshing, the flavor so pure, and the tinge of bitterness or astringency from crushing the seeds/arils made it more than one dimensional on the palate.
The arils are separated from the pith, placed into some wickedly good juice extractor and out came the pure juice which was far more juicy than I had expected. I thought it might be more pulpy, but it wasn’t. I suppose my only experience is with pomegranate molasses, a totally different animal altogether.
In case you are curious, this is what is left after you extract the juice…
At Y15 or $2.30 for a glass, it was pricey by local standards, but well worth it for me. I might just go back right after writing this post for another glass… And if you don’t want it cold, they also serve it heated up like a fruit tea I guess. :)