COUNT THE WAYS
Having grown up with the fruit in both India and the Middle East, it's great to find it in so many new products in the States. It's been a staple of diets in these parts of the world for thousands of years.
As this article in Israel21c points out:
"According to product data service Productscan, some 215 new pomegranate-flavored foods and beverages were brought to market in the first seven months of 2006, compared to
just 19 for the whole of 2002. Pomegranate flavors are finding their way to everything from natural fruit juices to chewing gum and even sausages. "
Why? The article explains:
"The rise in popularity stems partly from growing medical
interest in the crimson fruit's health benefits. Pomegranates are
naturally high in polyphenols, powerful antioxidants that are helpful in fighting a variety of health problems ranging from cardiovascular diseases and inflammation to certain types of cancer.
Studies have even begun suggesting that the fruit may even be helpful in alleviating menopausal and post-menopausal symptoms in women (pomegranate is the only plant known to contain estrogen) and erectile dysfunction in men. Couple that with their naturally-high levels of vitamins A, B, and C, calcium, and iron, and it's no wonder the fruit is being touted as a health panacea.
And, Open notes, the antioxidant content of pomegranates is three times higher than that of red grapes. "
So why am I going into this? Because of this innovation from Israel:
"Several years before the trend got started, a family in Israel's Upper Galilee region began working to create a tastier and healthier version of the ancient fruit, only to cross their way into yet another huge food market. Their product: the world's first pomegranate wine fit to be sold to international wine connoisseurs..."
"...the family founded the Rimon Winery, named after the Hebrew word for pomegranate, and began producing en masse and for
the local and international markets..."
"...Starting this year, the company began featuring a product line that includes a dry wine, a dessert wine, a heavier port wine with 19% alcoholic content, and a rosé wine."
Apparently it took a few years of wine engineering to perfect the product:
"The story began ten years ago, when father and son Gaby and Avi Nachmias, the third generation of a farming family who were founding members of Moshav Kerem Ben Zimra in the Galilee, began experimenting to create a new strain of pomegranates.
Understanding the fruit's excellent therapeutic qualities, their goal was to engineer a "super fruit" that would be richer in vitamins and antioxidants, sweeter, and deeper in its red color than most pomegranate types. "
Can't wait to try them.