To everything a season . . . And what better way to welcome NOVEMBER (and be sincere about it) than to remember it’s the peak of POMEGRANATE SEASON—in both the USA and Iran?
There was a time when pomegranates weren’t as easy to find, when we’d be lucky to find them in specialty shops. But now they’re appearing in supermarkets—their succulent treasure just waiting to be discovered. So if you haven’t ventured to try them already, I invite you . . . encourage you . . . dare you to try them!
I started my own quest at the supermarket weeks ago--lurking about the produce section . . . poking around the aisles . . . hungering for the splendid red orbs with the top notches. When I spotted the first ones in early October, they were measly and spotty to the casual onlooker . . . but to me, even then, they shined bright and glorious: the triumphant booty of my treasure hunt.
They ushered me back to memories of Iran, those sticky-sweet moments with Mahmoud’s family: our fingers drenched with the color of rubies, our tongues being alternately piqued and quenched by a crunchy tanginess brighter than cranberries. There were also the jubilant crackling sounds from the experts hands that could open a pomegranate. I can still see Baba, my beloved father-in-law, breaking off sections and passing them out as if they were chunks of a loaf of bread. Our busy fingers, dislodging the pellets, scooped their glistening goodness straight into our mouths . . .
Baba knew the secret of feasting on pomegranate: that it’s as much an event about being together as it is about the pleasures of eating it. Maybe that’s why the pomegranate was his favorite fruit!
The One who fashioned ruby
Has crafted another masterpiece:
He chiseled out the facets,
Lined them all in silver,
Wrapped them in a ball,
And called it “pomegranate."
[--a favorite poem of Baba's, translated from the Persian]
Dr. Leslie Ahmadi discovered her intercultural calling in her parents’ home at age four--where between the jazz, the spirituals, and the rock ‘n roll music, she heard folk songs in languages from around the world. Thirty years later she had a doctorate in foreign language and culture education--and her folk song guitar never far away.