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Pomegranate

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Pomegranates have wonderful history and lore, predating the Bible. Some Jewish scholars believe it was not the apple that tempted Eve in the garden, but pomegranate. Just as the serpent lured Eve with a pomegranate in the Bible, so too did Hades trick Persephone into a bite—as such, she had to spend every winter in the underworld.


Despite pomegranate’s rocky start as the fruit responsible for man’s fall from grace, it has since gained a solid reputation in many religious texts. In Hinduism, the fruit symbolizes fertility and prosperity, and the Qur’an states that pomegranate trees grow in the kingdom of heaven. As for the Jews, the book of Exodus explains that the image of a pomegranate should be worn on the robes of the High Priests.

India grows most of the world’s pomegranates, and exports much of its supply to the United Arab Emirates, Oman, and the UK. India even ships pomegranates as far as the US and Canada. The country’s main export competitors are Spain and Iran.

Maharashtra’s Solapur district grows 60 to 70 percent of India’s pomegranates, thus making Maharashtra the country’s main pomegranate commercial district. Cultivation takes place on a smaller scale in Gujarat, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, and Haryana. To grow, pomegranates require semi-arid conditions and hot, dry summers.

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