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The Pomegranate: More than a Fruit in Turkey

The pomegranate is an extremely important fruit to the Eastern people’s cultures and traditions, as well as their diets. The ruby red pomegranate actually has roots leading back to Persia, which is history fitting of this majestic fruit. It’s one of the world’s most ancient foods, and it’s a symbol of fertility! This native Eastern fruit is a must when travelling. In Turkey, it is known as ‘nar’, and it can be found everywhere during the winter! Turkey has become an attraction site for its freshly squeezed pomegranate juice, and it’s not surprising why!

This beautiful fruit is filled with hundreds of juicy red seeds that are either squeezed by hand (as seen in the video below), or by a juicer. It is delectably sold at nearly all juice stands, markets, and restaurants. The pomegranate is also an important part of Turkey’s New Year’s celebration. The people grab the fruit and smash it into the floor or front door, and they say that the more seeds that burst out, the more good fortune you will acquire. A bit strange, but it makes a bit of sense considering the fruit’s history!

Historically, the pomegranate is noticeable in many religious contexts, like the Holy texts. It’s also a prominent character in much of the Islamic, Christian and Jewish art.  Aside from being used as food, the pomegranate had many uses, the juice has a tonic to kill parasites, the blossoms were used to make a red dye, and the peel was used to dye leather.

 

So, if you get a chance to visit the East, don’t forget to stop by Turkey and have a taste of this red elixir!

 

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Israa Elkhatib

I was born in Palestine but raised with the fireflies in Georgia. My teenage years were spent being the Muslim nerd who was known as the bookworm of the school. That followed me back to Palestine, to develop into being the girl with the big vocabulary. I spent most of my high-school days cursing Newton for not eating that apple. My English Literature Bachelor's degree was only obtained because I'm a nerd for literature and my minor in Translation pretty much pays the bills, thank you Birzeit University.Creative writing is my passion and reading is my escape from reality into a world where everything is the way you imagine it to be.

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