This fascinating fruit has a long and interesting history. Native to Persia, the fruit was taken to China in 100BC and from there to Italy via Carthage. The latin name, Punicum malum, acknowledges Carthage (Punic) as a major center of cultivation and the granatum to the many seeds or grains in the fruit. Renaissance fabrics frequently used the appearance of the cut seeds in their design. Apart from eating the succulent fruit the Italians tanned and dried the skins to use as a type of leather.
About 800AD the Moors took the pomegranate to Spain, naming the city of Granada for the fruit.
Henry VIII was responsible for planting the first pomegranate tree in England. They must have been planted in the walled gardens or conservatories to protect them from frost.
The French named the grenade, for the many seeds and the way the explosive scatters. In 1791, the soldiers who threw these explosives were called grenadiers.
The Spanish Conquistadors brought the fruit to America but it has not gained the popularity here that is found in Mediterranean countries, Mid and Far East. An increase in demand in recent times has been due to the anti oxidant properties of the juice but the fruit continues to remain expensive in the stores.