03 Aug2007

Pomegranates

by Marketman

pom1

It was a surprise to find these beautiful looking pomegranates at the fruit stand yesterday. They are normally associated with the winter months in the West, say around the Christmas holidays, so these stopped me in my tracks… until I realized it was winter in Australia, and sure enough that is where they come from. Pomegranates are one of those special foods that are stunning to look at, appear in historical depictions of still lifes going back hundreds of years because of their appearance and color, and seem to make just about any dish look better by just sprinkling a few pomegranate arils on it… I once did a Holiday dinner with foie gras as a starter and someone handcarried home such utterly luscious deep deep burgundy pomegranates for me that I used as a garnish…it was a terrific looking appetizer. Then last Christmas, I used pomegranates to garnish a lobster appetizer, photo here.

pom2

Pomegranates (Punica granatum), also referred to as granada or Chinese apple, are believed to have originated in and around Persia. Their English name is derived from the french word “pomme” for apple, and “grenate” for many seeds, hence the many seeded apple. There are several varieties from blush pink to deep red, from tart to super sweet. These ones were pretty tart and I have to remember every single time I buy them that one pomegranate goes a long way… A pain in the rear to peel, some suggest you remove the arils gently in a bowl of water with the fruit submerged… the arils sink and the white membranes of the fruit float and can be discarded. All this according to the Dole Encyclopedia of Foods and Elizabeth Schneider’s Uncommon Fruits and Vegetables…

pom3

But this post wasn’t really so much about the pomegranates, and the thrill of finding them, or even eating them, this post was about photos. I was still thinking about the food styling and photo experience last weekend, so I decided to build a small “box” (two sides and floor of box only) made of white styrofoam tso that I could better capture natural light and let it bounce nicely around a fruit, dish or whatever item I wanted to capture on digits or is it bytes… With some decent after lunch sunlight, diffused by cloud cover, I took several photos and picked these three… I thought they were pretty good. I just laid a pale pink linen napkin under the fruit in the first photo, then tried using an early 1900′s pink ceramic bowl in the second photo and finally, a Japanese celadon dish in the final photo. These photos took marginally longer to take than my usual food pictures (i.e., seconds) but they are totally natural and sans any glycerin, water, oil, brushes, tweezers, etc. What do you think? I couldn’t decide which one I liked best…

 

COMMENTS:

  1. Mangaranon says:

    We have a pomegranate tree in our house in Makati. It is a good mix with fresh orange juice.

    Aug 3, 2007 | 10:07 am

     
  2. Blaise Fortuna says:

    They’re indeed very nice.. I was captured by how it looks as well, the seeds actually look like glass.. very interesting..

    Aug 3, 2007 | 10:16 am

     
  3. macpower says:

    nice shots indeed! with more practice, im sure you’re on your way to photog greatness. btw, with these 3 shots parang professional na nga eh. im new to this fruit.. where can you buy pomegranates here in manila? how much by the kilo or per piece? how do w eat them? sorry for this, but it is the first time i saw one. is there a tagalog name to this? thanks mm, i really get to discover much from you!!!

    Aug 3, 2007 | 10:35 am

     
  4. Carlo says:

    This post reminds me of an episode in Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares wherein Gordon blasts a chef at a restaurant for making a pomegranate risotto. He called the dish “f-ing revolting”. LOL

    Aug 3, 2007 | 10:43 am

     
  5. Jennifer says:

    I like the first photo because the arils look so big and plump and juicy. They look like they would leap off the page! The third photo with the celadon plate is very nice too. :)

    Aug 3, 2007 | 10:43 am

     
  6. Lei says:

    Know what MM, even before I got to the part wherein you were mentioning that this post is about shooting good photos, I was already telling myself that I would be leaving a comment on the photos of those pomegranates.

    Talk about serendipity heehee!

    The pictures are gorgeous! Really, even if you did not mention anything about the photos, I was really going to give you praises for those pictures especially the first one. Simply said, it is beautiful.

    Aug 3, 2007 | 10:44 am

     
  7. meekerz says:

    i like the first photo :)

    Aug 3, 2007 | 11:16 am

     
  8. Marketman says:

    Mangaranon, cool, I didn’t realize these grew in our hot humid tropical weather… and I always got confused with Granada or granadilla as a name here as it sometimes applies to passion fruit as well… Does your tree bear fruit? Blaise, yes, the arils have such a nice luminescent quality to them… macpower, PHP200 a kilo or roughly PHP60 each at Market!Market! in the fruit section of the market, you separate the arils (each with a pip or seed), they are totally edible, but some find the seeds annoying. You can use them sprinkled on salads, eat them on their own, cooked into sauces or made into juice, though I haven’t the foggiest clue how to do the juice… Carlo, I don’t think I would use this in a risotto either… Jennifer, yup, the first photo is coming out as the favorite I think… Lei & meekerz, thanks!

    Aug 3, 2007 | 11:53 am

     
  9. Myra P. says:

    MM, I actually prefer the thrid photo with the celadon dish :) The pale green sets off the color of the pomegranates beautifully. Your lighting also seems more soft and diffused. Although the shot as tight as the others, you still have a good sense of the fruit and its juicy kernels :)

    Aug 3, 2007 | 12:02 pm

     
  10. Myra P. says:

    edit… although the shot *isnt* as tight as the others…

    Aug 3, 2007 | 12:10 pm

     
  11. lojet says:

    I remember our neighbor had a small bush in their yard when I was a child in Cebu. Of course the local fruit was smaller compared to the ones available here in NY. I see them in produce stores once in a while, I should ask where they come from.

    I like #1 photo the best too.

    Aug 3, 2007 | 12:25 pm

     
  12. Em Dy says:

    Wow. The photos are great. First time to see suha presented this way. Looks so good to eat.

    Aug 3, 2007 | 12:31 pm

     
  13. Mila says:

    I like the last photo best.

    Em Dy: Suha are Pomelo, not pomegranates.

    Aug 3, 2007 | 12:36 pm

     
  14. salve says:

    hi, i just recently stumbled across your blog while researching on something and since then i got hooked! I love the photos. I think i will try to do something with those extra sheets of styro…:)
    PS. my vote is for the 3rd pic too!

    Aug 3, 2007 | 12:49 pm

     
  15. Maria Clara says:

    Looks like your fruits are not quite ready yet. usually the skin and arlis are flaming red in color like nuclear red. I like all the pictures. They used to be everywhere in our place in Pampanga where we as kids just played around with them. We threw them up in the air and when they hit the ground hence the name “granada.” They were abundant in front and backyard of every household but no one was aware of their antioxidant power then. During the Christmas season most lobbies of the five star hotels in the Western hemisphere – pomegranates are part of their Holiday wreath, Christmas trees and potpourri. Last Christmas, the Peninsula Hotel in Beverly Hills had basketful of lacquered pomegranates with pine tree cones in their lobby. In Iranian and Turkish cuisines it is always incorporated in their food beginning with their salad, appetizer, main course, dessert and cocktails. They even have a syrup more potent than grenadine syrup which they use in their dessert very thick one.

    Aug 3, 2007 | 12:53 pm

     
  16. Marketman says:

    Maria Clara, I thought the same thing about ripeness the first time I bought this type of pomegranates last year… turns out there are different varieties, those that get beet red and those that are more pinkish…these are the latter… I will store two of them in fridge for another month to see if they get any better, apparently they last up to 2 months! in the fridge… Salve, thank you so much for visiting; if new, you should check out some of the 1,200 previous posts that are already in the archives… and thank you for including me in a recent post of yours on the PIPC issue…

    Aug 3, 2007 | 1:06 pm

     
  17. Blaise Fortuna says:

    MarketMan, I have a question, this is not related to your post, but is it possible to “powderize” ordinary table (granular) sugar with a food processor, so that it could have a smoother texture that can preferably be used for baking? Just a thought..

    Aug 3, 2007 | 1:17 pm

     
  18. erleen says:

    these photos have a slightly different look to them that I thought that you got a new camera!

    pretty creative MM!

    Aug 3, 2007 | 1:27 pm

     
  19. Marketman says:

    Blaise, a big YES. Caster sugar is sold in the groceries and it is finer than our normal white granulated sugar, which should be called granulated pebbles… Just stick granulated sugar in food processor and blitz for a few seconds to make it finer. Don’t overdo it. erleen, experiments sometimes yield good results… :)

    Aug 3, 2007 | 1:49 pm

     
  20. bernadette says:

    I have always been intrigued by lighting in photography and how to make the most of what one has got. The styrofoam sounds ingenious because the promegranate really looks…sensual :-). That’s just the word that comes to my mind.

    Aug 3, 2007 | 3:44 pm

     
  21. Blaise Fortuna says:

    Thanks MM for the info.. :)

    Aug 3, 2007 | 3:48 pm

     
  22. myra says:

    great pictures, I like the first one.

    Aug 3, 2007 | 4:04 pm

     
  23. Em Dy says:

    Mila, thanks for the correction. I want to try pomegranates because of what I see in the pictures. Does it taste anything like suha?

    Aug 3, 2007 | 5:01 pm

     
  24. wits and nuts says:

    I like the first photo!

    Again, thanks MM for accommodating my request to feature you in my site. I have been receiving several personal messages asking me about you :p Expect to have additional hits the coming days. My non-blogger friends looks forward to visiting your site. :p

    Aug 3, 2007 | 5:07 pm

     
  25. jane says:

    We always have 1 0r 2 granada tree in our backyard in pangasinan. I like the first picture!

    Aug 3, 2007 | 7:01 pm

     
  26. millet says:

    yes, pomegranates are about as common as..maybe tiesa.in philippine gardens, but i am not aware of anybody growing them in commercial quantities. the ones grown locally have smaller fruits, though..at least the ones i’ve seen, and i’ve never tried a super-sweet pomegranate. they’re alwasy been just so-so, with an interesting texture. and yes, grenadine is made from pomegranates.

    Aug 3, 2007 | 7:32 pm

     
  27. Mila says:

    Em Dy, pomegranates don’t have the citrus tones of pomelos. I find pomegranates even sweeter than pomelos (when ripe) and flower-like in aroma; not to mention the seeds are hard to miss. Those jewel-like segments you see in the photo envelope a crunchy seed you’re probably going to have to get used to crunching on. It’s a good fruit for salads.

    Aug 3, 2007 | 7:34 pm

     
  28. Carol says:

    What fab fotos of a fab fruit! I remember having a potted granada plant when I was a child but I can’t recall how the fruit tasted.

    Aug 3, 2007 | 7:37 pm

     
  29. joey says:

    Am I the only one who likes the 2nd photo best? So sue me…I love pink :) I like the way the photo is all shades and textures of pink…I also like that you only see a small part of the fruit (as compared to the other 2 shots)…

    Aug 3, 2007 | 7:43 pm

     
  30. Mangaranon says:

    Yes, our tree bore fruit albeit not much. Each time our pomegranate tree bore fruits, my late mother took it as a sign that there would be a lot of admirers for her lovely daughters.

    The Resnicks grow pomegranates (over 1,000,000 acres) near
    Sacramento, California where the weather is like ours.

    Aug 3, 2007 | 8:27 pm

     
  31. paolo says:

    Pommegranate/Pomegranate??
    French Pomme for apple

    Fue considerada tradicionalmente como símbolo del amor y de la fecundidad (fertility).

    Used as ornamental plant or source of edible fruit.

    MM, it grew and bear fruits in our front yard when I was growing up in the Philippines.

    The membrane covering the edible plump seeds is bitter. Mostly, the fruit is used as decorative in fruit arrangement, green salad and juice for cocktail mixes.

    Aug 3, 2007 | 8:42 pm

     
  32. noemi says:

    attractive fruit!

    Aug 3, 2007 | 8:44 pm

     
  33. TOPING says:

    I had that “I-think-I’ve-seen-this-fruit-before” moment, and then it hit me: granadas! My lola used to have lots of these in her backyard, alongside the ates and tisa. So these are pomegranates? Thanks for the belated introduction, MM!

    Aug 3, 2007 | 8:59 pm

     
  34. allen says:

    Great pictures! But I like the last one best. I tend to gravitate toward blue or green-colored plates, think lemons in a blue bowl… I like the contrasting colors.

    Aug 3, 2007 | 10:50 pm

     
  35. chunky says:

    i’ve seen this fruit featured in so many of food network’s shows. the photos are luscious…just like the fruit. do you have recipes using them? just wondering where one can buy them? i also didn’t realize they grow them here. thanks for the info.

    Aug 3, 2007 | 11:37 pm

     
  36. Bubut says:

    i vote for photos 1 and 3… nice shots. I saw also pomegranates being sold at the World Food Expo (Aug 1-4)

    Aug 3, 2007 | 11:44 pm

     
  37. The Steak Lady says:

    Love the pics MM!! =) And the colors just pop. Congrats!

    Aug 4, 2007 | 12:02 am

     
  38. Lou says:

    I like the first photo. My grandaunt used to have a plant in her garden, we didn’t quite know what to do with the fruit. To eat took too much effort.

    Aug 4, 2007 | 1:36 am

     
  39. aniohevetsofia says:

    Hello! have you tried pomegranate wine? (rimon)

    Aug 4, 2007 | 2:23 am

     
  40. Larees says:

    Nice photos MM! I can’t decide which I like best =)

    Aug 4, 2007 | 3:13 am

     
  41. brenda says:

    When I was still a kid, I used to see some granada trees in our neighborhood but it sure doesnt look like the one in the photo. And we were strictly told not to eat them because its poisonous. My friends tried to open one fruit and it sure got plenty of seeds inside, big seeds just like in the pic but not that luscious looking. Of course we did not eat any.

    But those pics of yours looks yummy. I vote for pic #1

    Aug 4, 2007 | 3:34 am

     
  42. Raneli says:

    MM: Photo #1 is it! Living in the Middle East years back made me appreciate them more. Some Persian pals told me if you want to enjoy eating the fruit like eating seedless atis, get the spanish variety,which is sweeter,bigger and less frustrating to consume. It is similar in color as in the one you featured in your photo. Also to loosen the arils from its connecting fibers, one must roll the fruit on a firm surface to slightly bruise it. The Poms which have the deep burgundy color are the ones that are tarty and seedly in texture and taste but richer in Antioxidants. Known to be a wonder tonic for great skin and for the digestive tract.

    Aug 4, 2007 | 4:22 am

     
  43. kulasa says:

    I like the first photo. The little black stem and that single seed at bottom does the trick for me.

    Aug 4, 2007 | 7:08 am

     
  44. Ted says:

    Photo #1 to me is the winner. But all 3 look great.

    Aug 4, 2007 | 8:36 am

     
  45. annette says:

    Very well done MM, and when I saw the first photo, it reminds me of a fruit that I saw in Laguna ages back, and hey it looked like granada and so it is, pomegranates pala ang english for granada, thanks for that MM, now I know. I’m really learning a lot from you site MM.

    Aug 4, 2007 | 11:14 am

     
  46. RobKSA says:

    pomegranates is good for prostate problem daw. I like the contrast of the green and orange in the third photo but the pink on pink on the second photo is not bad either.

    Aug 4, 2007 | 12:13 pm

     
  47. wil-b cariaga says:

    absolutely stunning photos MM. . . really nice. . .

    Aug 4, 2007 | 1:54 pm

     
  48. tings says:

    I vote for number 3! :-)

    Aug 4, 2007 | 2:28 pm

     
  49. blue says:

    i vote for the first photo..nice pix MM!

    Aug 4, 2007 | 4:22 pm

     
  50. lee says:

    number 2

    Aug 4, 2007 | 4:38 pm

     
  51. mikel says:

    i get peeled pomegranates ready-to-eat from my paris fruit monger when in season. i love the sweet/sour, crunchy fruit. prefer it this way rather than as juice. best chilled and spooned for devouring!

    Aug 4, 2007 | 6:47 pm

     
  52. connie says:

    We had a horrible season of pomegranates last winter, the seeds were pale, not the deep red color, they were certainly bland and no hint of sweetness at all. They were not juicy too, usually the seeds starts squirting red juices once you start separating the seeds. I hope we have a better one this coming winter.
    I just love adding the seeds to salads, gives salads an added texture are well as some sweetness. But most of all, I just really enjoy the seeds as is and chilled a little bit.
    As for juicing, I’ve tried using a citrus juicer, that didn’t work well. I ended up red juices splattered all over my backsplash and kitchen counter! I just blend the seeds in a blender in very short bursts and then strain, but this tends to have a hint of bitterness. Not much, but I would love to have just the sweet juice in it. I was told you can slow cook the seeds in a crockpot with some water to loosen the meat off the seeds, but I haven’t tried that either.

    Aug 5, 2007 | 10:50 am

     
  53. dhayL says:

    I like the last photo, they look like pearls, so pretty to look at! :)

    Aug 6, 2007 | 2:49 am

     
  54. Cumin says:

    Gorgeous photos and I only hope the taste matches its appearance. My partner likes the first photo for composition, while I like the third photo for colour contrast. Like some other readers, I love celadon.

    Aug 6, 2007 | 10:17 am

     
  55. Liza says:

    My son just told me that it was a pomegranate that Eve had in the Garden of Eden. Did you know that? I didn’t.

    You learn something new everyday. :)

    Aug 6, 2007 | 8:36 pm

     
  56. Marketman says:

    Liza, there are some accounts of the fruit being a pomegranate which would make sense since few apples would be likely grown near the supposed area where Adam and Eve would have originated; that is, of course if you eschew the evolution story…

    Aug 6, 2007 | 9:38 pm

     
  57. buckythetarayslayer says:

    Nice pics MM! I vote for pics 1 and 3.
    I’m hoping to get a taste of the fruit. The only time I had a pomegranate anything was in a cocktail, and I’m pretty sure that it was a syrup version of it that was used.

    Aug 15, 2007 | 12:19 am

     
  58. cathy says:

    where can i buy pomegrante aside from market market ive been looking for this fruit.where are the other place i can find that fruit?pls….

    Jul 1, 2008 | 12:37 am

     
  59. Mara Jessame S. Manuel says:

    Pls tell me where I can get this granada fruit tnx.. I badly needed this

    Nov 20, 2008 | 5:44 pm

     
  60. narciso lakatan says:

    can you give me an idea where to buy granada seeds or plants?I am planning to put this in my farm in batangas.Pls do help me. Thanks.I really like the picture and really want to plant this in batangas.

    Jan 8, 2009 | 5:53 pm

     
  61. hector says:

    pomegranates in its own goodness is excellent in reducing bad cholesterol. i read something about the usefulness of this fruit from the net last week. so may i ask someone here who might know where i could but them here in the philippines? is it popularly known as GRANADA nga ba? thanks and i would greatly appreciate it. i am a professional photographer here in cavite, nice photos you got.

    Jan 14, 2009 | 4:19 pm

     
  62. irene says:

    where can i buy pomegranate? thanks ^^ badly need it..

    Mar 16, 2009 | 10:19 am

     
  63. aina says:

    where can i buy pomegranate or granada? PLEEASSEEE… been looking for this fruit for years already.. please… thank you so much!!

    May 1, 2009 | 7:54 pm

     
  64. Marketman says:

    aina and irene, they carry them in big groceries. I just saw them at S&R last week, they have them at Rustan’s sometimes, and they have them at specialty fruit stalls.

    May 1, 2009 | 8:28 pm

     
 

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