Monday, 6 August 2007
I first came across pomegranates in early primary school when I learnt the story of the Greek goddess Persephone who was abducted by Hades and taken to the underworld. There she refused to eat until the very last moment before being retrieved by Hermes when she took a bite of pomegranate. She ate six seeds and for these six seeds she was compelled to return to the underworld for six months of the year. This caused her mother, Demeter, goddess of the Earth, to despair for six months of the year, hence explaining the winter months when the earth is not bountiful. Some things from childhood really stick in your mind and this is one of them for me.
Not only this but the pomegranate is a visually evocative fruit. It features as a design element in Italian brocades of the 15th and 16th centuries, as detailed in a lovely book that I have Historic Textile Fabrics by Richard Glazier, published in London by Batsford in 1923. On the right below is a Florentine brocaded silk damask from the late 15th century of rose and pomegranate design woven in gold on white silk.
On Saturday night I went to Blue Diamond for a friend's birthday drinks and tasted a Moulin Rouge cocktail. I chose it because one of the ingredients is grenadine, traditionally a red syrup made from pomegranate.