The pomegranate, fruit of Eden

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One of the absolute richest fruits of symbolism and meaning, so much so that some have considered the legendary fruit of Eden. The pomegranate has managed over thousands of years to become one of the most recognized and celebrated foods in the world, conquering an increasingly central role in the human imagination.

From Asia to conquer the world

Native of an area that goes from the north ofIndia toIran was one of the most celebrated fruits in history, considering that it was one of the first ever to be cultivated. Like other fruits found in the Quran and in sacred texts, its appearance in houses and gardens dates back to the Bronze Age, a time when it began to be increasingly valued. Thanks to colors and shapes, in fact, it immediately became one of the symbols of both fertility and death, combining them with an incredible taste that bewitched any people with whom it came into contact.

pomegranate

Indeed, once introduced to Andalusia by the Arabs, this fruit made the fortunes of Granada, to the point that, thanks to the city coat of arms, the northern European peoples believed it to be of Iberian origin for a long time, so much so that in English it was called apple of Grenada for centuries

A symbol for each seed

As we said, thanks to its physical appearance, the pomegranate soon became one of the fruits, obtaining different values and functions depending on the context in which it was located. Among the Greeks, for example, the fruit of death was long considered, very often associated with the myth of Persephone and the changing seasons. The civilization that tied more to this fruit, however, were the Jews, with whom the symbolism is even more varied and rich in details. It was in fact one of the 7 species promised to them, as well as being the first fruit brought to Moses once the Exodus ended. Furthermore, there was always a very strong link between the latter and the priests of the Temple of Solomon, so much so that it was one of the most important symbols on their clothes.

pomegranate
Surat Ar-Rahman, vv.68

Precisely because of this strong bond with fertility and divine, many people think that it was a pomegranate, and not a common apple, that was the mysterious “fruit of Eden”. It is no coincidence, in fact, that in the Koran it is mentioned as one of the heavenly fruits, further confirmation of the importance of this plant. Over time, it has become a true symbol of Afghanistan and the Caucasus, so much so that the most valuable varieties are those of Kandahar and every year in Goychay, Azerbaijan, there is a large festival dedicated to them Final curiosity: the scientific name of the pomegranate is Punica Granatum, or “Carthaginian garnet”; this is because the Romans knew it for the first time just from the great African people.

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