Thursday, January 17, 2008

When Pomegranate Was the Rage

I'm beginning to wonder if 25 years from now, that's the phrase someone will use to describe the culinary zeitgeist of our time.

At virtually every swank restaurant in our major cities, you find pomegranate on the menu — its flavors tucked neatly into one or more dishes.

During my flight into Houston last night, I was reading the latest issue of Bon Appetit magazine. Within the space of a dozen pages were the following: a recipe for Pom-Ade (pomegranate juice with club soda and lemonade), a two-page ad from the Pomegranate Council of California, and a recipe for pomegranate panna cotta.

For God's sake, there's even a community non-profit organization in Washington State that has named itself after the pomegranate. I'm not sure what the pomegranate has to do with creating multi-purpose public spaces for a community, but, hey, whatever works.

Much of the fruit's appeal appears to be based on its nutritional qualities, and chefs rave about the color that pomegranate adds to a plate. But I am starting to suffer from pomegranate fatigue. The novelty is wearing off. Very quickly.

How is it possible that America has gone so batty over a fruit that is native to Ahmadinejad's Iran?

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