By Xanthe Clay
The sparkling seeds of the pomegranate add an exotic, healthy kick to dishes of every kind.
If ever a fruit has a powerful reputation, it is the pomegranate.
It was a pomegranate that tempted Persephone in the Underworld, and by eating just four seeds she condemned herself to spending four months a year in hell.
In classical and medieval times it was the ultimate symbol of fertility, because of its many seeds and lascivious red interior. Later, it gave its French name - grenade - to an explosive device.
More recently, it has been celebrated as a new superfood, packed full of powerful antioxidants. A regular intake of pomegranate juice is also said to guard against hardening of the arteries and slow the growth of prostate cancer.
There’s even a suggestion that pregnant women who drink pomegranate juice will help their babies’ brains develop.