[Sca-cooks] Pomegranate seeds

Stefan li Rous StefanliRous at austin.rr.com
Thu Feb 25 01:19:20 PST 2010

It's actually Two Fifteenth-Century Cookery-Books
(England, 1430)

The original source can be found at the University of Michigan's
"Corpus of Middle English Prose and Verse"

Cxxiij - Strawberye. Take Strawberys, and waysshe hem in tyme of 3ere
in gode red wyne; than strayne thorwe a clothe, and do hem in a potte
with gode Almaunde mylke, a-lay it with Amyndoun other with the flowre
of Rys, and make it chargeaunt and lat it boyle, and do ther-in
Roysonys of coraunce, Safroun, Pepir, Sugre grete plente, pouder
Gyngere, Canel, Galyngale; poynte it with Vynegre, and a lytil whyte
grece put ther-to; coloure it with Alkenade, and droppe it a-bowte,
plante it with the graynys of Pome-garnad, and than serue it forth.


So I assume these "graynys of Pome-garnad" are Pomegranate "seeds".  
But what are we assuming? that these are globules? of fruit and not  
what 'Lainie is calling "pips"? "graynys" sounds more like the pips  
than the fruit. They would also keep better from one season to the  
next, compared to the fleshy fruit portion.

When I think of seeds, I think of the hard, grainy things in a fruit  
that if you plant grow into a new plant, which I assume these "pips"  
are, and not the soft fleshy stuff, which presumably provides food/ 
minerals/moisture to the seed to grow in.  Have I got the wrong idea  
of "seed"?

Were these frozen bags of pomegranate stuff labeled as "pomegranate  
seeds"? or actually something else?

Okay, doing some web searching. I think I see one problem. In some  
accounts "seed" seems to be the "pip" while in other accounts it seems  
to mean the pip and the fleshy part and membrane that surround each  

For instance the Wikipedia entry says
"After opening the pomegranate by scoring it with a knife and breaking  
it open, the arils (seed casings) are separated from the peel and  
internal white pulp membranes."

So what some of us seem to be calling "seeds" appear to be "arils" in  
this account. But later on, in the same paragraph it says "The entire  
seed is consumed raw, though the watery, tasty aril is the desired  
part." which seems to be using "entire seed" to include the seed and  
the aril.

A few paragraphs down they say "Wild pomegranate seeds are used as a  
spice known as anardana (from Persian: anar+dana, pomegranate+seed),  
most notably in Indian and Pakistani cuisine, but also as a substitute  
for pomegranate syrup in Persian cuisine." This seems to indicate that  
the seed itself is used for some food at least as a spice. This could  
be what the "graynys of Pome-garnad" are in the period recipe, rather  
than being the arils.

They do also say "Dried whole arils can often be obtained in ethnic  
Indian subcontinent markets." which would give a way to keep avils  
from one season to the next.

Okay, I'm not certain I clarified anything, but maybe some other info  
to consider.

THLord Stefan li Rous    Barony of Bryn Gwlad    Kingdom of Ansteorra
    Mark S. Harris           Austin, Texas          StefanliRous at austin.rr.com
**** See Stefan's Florilegium files at:  http://www.florilegium.org ****

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