Popular Pomegranates

Pomegranates have been used for centuries in Mediterranean, Peruvian and Persian cuisine, with the latter now at the height of popularity amongst mainstream restaurants and cook books. Persiana, the debut cook book by Sabrina Ghayour, was an instant hit last year and this year's 25th anniversary edition of Najmieh Batmanglij's Food or Life; Ancient Persian and Modern Iranian Cooking and Ceremonies was called by Vogue as 'this summer's most coveted tome'.

Noosh, a popular street food kitchen on Chatsworth Road Market in London, was this year given top marks for their western take on Persian cuisine, such as their pomegranate lamb dish and classic koo sabzi.

The pomegranate was one of the very first fruits cultivated by humans and the Egyptians were also big fans of the fruit. The fruit is now a staple for many with Waitrose selling a variety of pomegranate products, which range from juices, yoghurts, smoothies and sauces.

The suggested health benefits of pomegranates, such as their antioxidant content, have also helped draw in a new audience to the fruit. Pomegranates are a source of vitamin B6, which helps reduce feelings of tiredness and fatigue.

Rhonwen Cunningham, Fruit Buyer for Waitrose comments on the trend; "Our pomegranates are a real favourite with our customers and there's no doubt that the surge in popularity is down to the popularity of Peruvian and Persian cuisine. Whether it's using the pomegranate molasses in a typical Peruvian stew, or including in a salad or dessert, the fruit is definitely versatile. The added health benefits have also been known for a while, so the recent trend for clean eating has driven this foodie trend."