The pomegranate, Punica granatum (Punica, an ancient Phoenician city and granatum, from the Latin meaning ‘seeded’), is composed of three main parts: the seeds, the juice and the skin. The main variety cultivated in Messinia is Hermione. Other local varieties are known as Ksinorodia and Glykorodia, sour and sweet pomegranate respectively. The Hermione variety produces large fruit with a dark red color and sweet taste. The pomegranate is cultivated for its fruit, from which refreshing drinks and syrups (grenadine syrup) are produced. In Ancient Greece, the pomegranate symbolized life and rebirth, while breaking a pomegranate at weddings and on New Years symbolizes good luck and fertility.


The deep red color of the pomegranate is due to its high content of antioxidants, such as polyphenols, tannins and anthocyanins. The pomegranate is also rich in vitamins A, C and E and contains calcium, phosphorus, potassium and magnesium. Finally, according to the American Institute for Cancer Research, pomegranate juice helps reduce levels of LDL 'bad' cholesterol.

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