27 Oct2007

china1

If I were Adam, and Eve passed me one of these pomegranates to munch on, the entire human race would be toast as well. THIS is what a POMEGRANATE is SUPPOSED to taste like. The reference to Adam and Eve and the pomegranate is due to assertions that Eve didn’t really have any apples in the vicinity when she was tempting Adam, so the proverbial fruit was likely to be a luscious pomegranate instead… I have featured pomegranates before, and tasted wonderful juices and sauces made from pomegranate reductions, but apparently I hadn’t yet tasted a pomegranate at its finest. This huge non-descript, yellowish and lightly bruised specimen hand-carried by The Kid from Xian in Central China, was filled with stunningly crimson pieces. The flavor of this specific fruit was incredibly deep and delicious, a bit tart yet very sweet all at the same time. The color of the juice is something you will only come across in a natural product…

china2

The Kid was in China for 5 days on a school sponsored trip. No parents allowed. A grueling itinerary took them from The Great Wall outside Beijing to the terra cotta warriors ouside Xian then back home with a serious dose of Chinese art & culture. They had a blast. Parents were of course all relieved to see them back home, safe and sound, in one piece. It seems the shopping genes are ingrained in Pinoys from a young age, so despite a really crazed schedule, the kids managed to get some doodad shopping in while taking in the sites. The Kid was so excited to show me this pomegranate that she purchased for me in Xian, for roughly $2 (Oops, it was 2 Yuan, or roughly PHP15 or 30 U.S. cents!). Once we cracked it open, the deep red arils were just utterly stunning. And they were delicious. I wish we had access to this quality of pomegranates locally, I would be their biggest customer. Perhaps more impressive than the fruit itself, is the thought that went into this present…clearly The Kid is in tune with Dad’s frame of mind…

china3

The weather was pretty cold in Beijing, and despite having brought along her mother’s woolen scarves, she used some of her “baon” money to buy these two beautiful scarves while traipsing around The Great Wall. At about $7, they seem like an incredible bargain and they possess such unusual color combinations to boot…

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While she had some other doodads in her maleta, the last one I am featuring here is a silk cocoon, obtained at a silk factory they visited… This cocoon still has the (now dead) worm inside that you can hear when you jiggle it. How these ethereal fibers are eventually transformed into silk ties or ladies’ blouses is simply amazing…

 

COMMENTS:

  1. Mangaranon says:

    I saw Martha Stewart on TV mixing fresh squeezed orange juice to pomegranate juice. Ka namit!

    Oct 27, 2007 | 7:37 pm

     
  2. nina says:

    A school sponsored trip? Wow! She must be studying in an international school. I’m sure it was a great and very enriching experience. Travelling and visiting different places makes history and culture more interesting.

    Oct 27, 2007 | 8:17 pm

     
  3. abby says:

    pomegranates are just divine, my dad introduced me to this fruit when i young and i just fell in love with its taste. yum yum!!

    Oct 27, 2007 | 10:26 pm

     
  4. john paul sarabia says:

    nina, so as the dad. i think mr.mm studied in is.

    Oct 27, 2007 | 10:37 pm

     
  5. juli says:

    Pomegranate is abundant this time of year here in HK. I read somewhere this is one of the 8 superfoods. Only problem I have with eating them is I always end up with stained shirt. Delicious though.

    Oct 27, 2007 | 10:49 pm

     
  6. pixeldose says:

    I like the tarty/tangy taste I get from my pomegranate-green tea but, for the life of me, I just didn’t know how to appreciate the fruit itself. They’re plentiful in the produce store around here but my hand seems to always reach for the familiar fruits such as apples and bananas everytime we do our grocery shopping. Maybe because we prefer fruits that we can easily grab and consume while on the run or eat something that are not as fussy.

    But yeah, I might just pick one up the next time we grocery shop — just to satiate my curiosity :).

    Picked up some frozen lanzones the other day from a local Asian store and they’re thawing right now … can’t wait to try ’em, hehe.

    Oct 28, 2007 | 1:02 am

     
  7. Maria Clara says:

    The Kid has superior eyes for good stuff which runs genetically in the family – like Dad, Mom and Tita. What it is that they do not have in China? It seems they have everything there from gigantic elephant garlic to sweet pomegranate and bird flu virus! You see all their products from all side of the equator – Europe, Australia and Canada just to make a few. I bought some key chains from the souvenir shop at the airport in Sydney, Australia – Made in China with Kangaroo imprinted in them! The Great Wall of China is a phenomenal sight, rich in history and to top it all it is all man-made of abused labor(?) – I never doubt it.

    Oct 28, 2007 | 3:07 am

     
  8. Maria Clara says:

    I guess no more foot binding practice in China. I have not seen women with small feet when I was in Beijing in late 90s. I have a very good recollection when we were young, we accompanied our grandmother in Ongping for her regular food shopping and we usually bumped into these women with robust body with small feet. Even in Ongping, I have not seen women with small feet lately.

    Oct 28, 2007 | 3:21 am

     
  9. millet says:

    go, girl! MarketKid?

    Oct 28, 2007 | 7:28 am

     
  10. Maricel says:

    We love pomegranates so much that my cousin sent me a pomegranate sapling from the States. We hope it will bear fruits soon. Bought some from S&R but they were not so good.

    Oct 28, 2007 | 8:07 am

     
  11. chi says:

    HAH! $2 each at Costco as well but they’re the size of pomelos and so juicy, you can hear the seeds popping in your mouth from miles. OK, a tad bit of exaggeration on both counts maybe but they’re really really super GOOD (they were passing out samples)! They are humongous though – I can barely hang on to one, very heavy, and very thin skinned so you know all that weight is juice.

    Oct 28, 2007 | 9:33 am

     
  12. siopao says:

    probably the difference between those pomegranates and the ones available here is that the ones in china are tree-ripened (hinog sa puno) as opposed to the ones harvested in farms for shipping (the ones that end up here) that could account for the pale color and less sweetness of the ones in the fruit stands here.

    Oct 28, 2007 | 9:37 am

     
  13. Anna Banana says:

    sorry, but that silk cocoon really looks scary. Love the scarves though!

    Oct 28, 2007 | 10:38 am

     
  14. Apicio says:

    The top picture is truly eye-catching.

    Apparently the coctail colorant grenadine (essential ingredient of Shirley Temples and pink lemonades) was originally based on a syrup prepared from pomegrenate juice although nowadays it’s simply dyed high fructose corn syrup just like the rest of the beverage section. Before our anti-oxidant awareness though real pomegrenate juice concentrate was only available in Middle-Eastern shops as pomegranate molasses, these days however, if you pause and read the labels, it is promiscuosly present in almost any fruit drink here that taunts anti-oxidant properties. I drink a tiny tumbler of it everyday, just in case it really works.

    First time I saw a silkworm cocoon this up close. I can picture unwound raw chunks of this being spun and woven into Shantung to give it it’s knobby texture.

    Oct 28, 2007 | 10:40 am

     
  15. Marketman says:

    Mangaranon, it must have had a deep orange red color…cool. John Paul, I did study at the International School Manila for Highschool, a few years ahead of Sharon Cuneta and Pops Fernandez if you were at all curious of that bit of trivia, but The Kid does not go to that same school. juli, I know what you mean, I had a few red stains on my light colored shirt just after I opened the fruit! pixeldose, a good pomegranate is memorable, a mediocre one is forgettable. MC, you got it, there is a whole lot of stuff invented, grown or produced in China for the past 2000+ years! Millet! No encouragement, please! :) Maricel, yes, I bought some locally a while back and they weren’t great either. Chi, those sound like a good deal to me! siopao, you are probably right, the kid said they were selling these roadside like they sell bananas on the way to tagaytay… Anna Banana, you mean the cocoon doesn’t conjure up thoughts of a warm fuzzy nest? :) Apicio, I just saw some pomegranate molasses in a store but it was wickedly expensive! Here is a tip for everyone. If you want to remove the pomegranate arils easily, do it underwater… just put a fourth of the fruit in a deep bowl of water and start pulling out the arils, the white fiber tends to float to the top, the red fruit sinks… then drain and use…

    Oct 28, 2007 | 10:53 am

     
  16. alilay says:

    my MIL in San Diego has a pom tree on her backyard always laden with fruits, they just rot there or some birds get to them , when we go visit i am the only one eating it she also has a fig tree na masipag mamunga ang an orange fruit — oh loquats they are stunning to look at in the summer and sweet too.

    Oct 28, 2007 | 11:24 am

     
  17. Jennifer says:

    A school sponsored trip to China is nice, but 5 days is too short. High school age kids go on China and Taiwan tours for 6 weeks during the summer, in the Chinese schools I know. They learn Chinese culture, and self reliance, as there are no maids and laundrywomen to do for them.

    Oct 28, 2007 | 11:35 am

     
  18. Candygirl says:

    I used to hide from those Taiwan study trips, hehehe. Chinese again for the summer? Oh no, not me! Hehehe.

    Oct 28, 2007 | 12:12 pm

     
  19. zena says:

    Wow, i am amazed that the Kid has the taste that she has at her age. I don’t think think I was that savy nor sophisticated at the same age. Wait, I’m sure I wasn’t. The scarves are beautiful and she made a great choice with the pomegranates. It’s in the genes!

    Oct 28, 2007 | 3:23 pm

     
  20. alicia says:

    My husband survived one of those 6 week trips to Taiwan way back. He said it was so bad, the first night some of them (all boys) were actually crying.. not knowing what they did to deserve being sent away and having to stay in soldier type barracks!
    But, he learned to wash his clothes, eat just about anything and live with manual plumbing! By the end of the program he had actually learned to enjoy it all! Builds character I think when age appropriate. Having said that , I am not looking forward to sending off my daughter on her first school trip abroad!

    Oct 28, 2007 | 7:37 pm

     
  21. elaine says:

    The Kid has taste. although I’ve mistaken the middle photo for table runners(I looove the colors), they’re pretty nonetheless, still elegantly chic…Pomegranate(s) is one fruit I have never tried though but would love to..

    Oct 28, 2007 | 9:16 pm

     
  22. dhayL says:

    Yeah The Kid doesn’t just have a great taste, but she has an eye for great deals too! I’ve never seen a silk cocoon before, very interesting…

    Oct 29, 2007 | 5:46 am

     
  23. chi says:

    MM, forgot to ask – are those Pashmina scarves? They are GORGEOUS and please don’t say yes at only $7 each. They run anywhere from $50 to $100+ here for the jaquard design in your pic…

    Oct 29, 2007 | 9:14 am

     
  24. aggy says:

    the kid has fine taste just like her dad!

    Oct 29, 2007 | 12:01 pm

     
  25. Marketman says:

    chi, they are “pashminas” and they were $7 each. Though most pashminas aren’t REALLY pashminas… but these ones are a great deal for $7.

    Oct 29, 2007 | 12:44 pm

     
  26. bluegirl says:

    I learned something really interesting from a man (a Pakistani or Nepalese) whose family has been in the Pashmina business for years.

    He said Pashmina wool comes from the neck portion of the goat which is why is very soft.

    He said that true 100% Pashmina can pass through a woman’s ring. He took one stole off his shelf, we made sure it was 100% (price was a whooping 10,000 Baht and it still wasn’t the most expensive item in the store) and I gave him my ring (I’m a size 6) and he took one end of the scarf and pulled it through the ring till it came out. At no time did the stole look like it was straining my ring.

    He said most Pashminas are made with 70-30 pashmina-silk or pashmina-nylon combination. The cheapest alternative is 100% acrylic. And though it is cheap, the acrylic version is quite soft but not as warm.

    We did try the same test on the 70-30 combination and 100% acrylic. If my memory serves me right, the 70-30 reached close to half-way through. The 100% acrylic clogged my ring very early on the test.

    Oct 29, 2007 | 2:23 pm

     
  27. cwid says:

    Further to what MM mentioned earlier, here’s a video on the pomegranate trick:

    http://foodwishes.blogspot.com/2007/10/back-by-popular-demandthe-secret.html

    Oct 29, 2007 | 2:59 pm

     
  28. shaz says:

    from where i used to live, in la trinidad, benguet, there’s local silk production, across the benguet state university, i’m not sure if it still exists, one of my classmates would bring lots of those silk cocoons dyed in different colors in school and we use it as an ornament for the christmas tree during holidays and in those cocoons are tiny wigglies…

    Oct 30, 2007 | 12:07 am

     
  29. edel says:

    i remember eating pomegranate when i was young. i’m not sure if its from our garden in the province or the neighbor’s. i think my mother and aunts called it “granada.”

    Oct 30, 2007 | 10:10 am

     
  30. Blaise says:

    Wow, The Kid is really in tune with her daddy’s mind, because I’d never think of fruit as a pasalubong from China, at least when I was still her age..

    Oct 30, 2007 | 12:09 pm

     
  31. bedazzle says:

    It must have been a truly enriching experience for the Kid because I went to Beijing last year (for the first time) around November and the temperature at the Great Wall was -2 degrees centigrade. It was my first time abroad and I really enjoyed that trip. Those are beautiful pashminas, Kid, you have your parents’ taste for finer things. I remember when we went shopping in Beijing, I was advised to make tawad at 30% of the quoted price. I was so afraid na baka batuhin ako ng mga nagtitinda, but to my surprise, it worked! Kaya I brought home a couple dozen (fake) t-shirts and some scarves. Also plenty of underwear..hehehe..Hope I can go back to Beijing sometime soon.

    Oct 31, 2007 | 8:07 am

     
  32. jencc says:

    my FIL regularly goes to China for some business meetings and once he brought home a pomegrante (called it “granada”) and it looked scary. but when we ate it, it was sooooooo good, i couldn’t stop! looked exactly like your pictures!

    Nov 3, 2007 | 8:04 am

     
  33. Elizabeth r.valerio says:

    wants to buy the fruit not the juice POMEGRANTES OR POMEGRANITES if you know were to by it let me know

    Nov 19, 2007 | 9:59 pm

     
 

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