[Sca-cooks] Pomegranate seeds

Johnna Holloway johnnae at mac.com
Fri Feb 26 05:43:00 PST 2010

I suppose the question is what did the pomegranate add to the dish?

Using Doc's handy dandy search tool at medievalcookery.com and  
on the English recipes and the pomegranate, we can come up with these :

Forme of Cury

XXXIX - FOR TO MAKE COMYN   wyth graynis of Poungarnetts

Sawse Sarzyne. XX.IIII. IIII.  messe it forth. and florish it with  

Fourme of Curye [Rylands MS 7]

.lxxxij. Sauce sarzyne. messe hit forth, & florysche hit with poume  

Two Fifteenth-Century Cookery-Books

Cxxxij - Sauke (Note: Sauce) Sarsoun.

and Florche (Note: Flourish; garnish) it a-bouyn with Pome-garned, and  
messe it; serue it forth.

Saug saraser. florissh hit aboue with pomme-garnet, and 3if forth.

(This sauce appears elsewhere. Here we have

Libro di cucina / Libro per cuoco
(Italy, 14th/15th c. - Louise Smithson, trans.)

LXXXVIII - Saracen style sauce. If you want to make saracen style  
sauce take almonds, currants, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, grains of  
paradise, cardamom, galangal and nutmeg; mix every thing together and  
temper with verjuice; this is a good relish.

Note here there are grains of paradise but no pomegranate.)

This one at 1615 is much later:

A NEVV BOOKE of Cookerie
To garnish your Dishes. GArnish your Dishes round about with fine  
Sugar: take Orengado dipt among Biskets and Carrawaies. Take a  
Pomegranate, and garnish the side of your Dish with it,


A number of the dishes call for being colored first (coloure it with  
Alkenade) so maybe the purpose of the flourishing was just to add
a few bits of color. How many of these recipes after all call for that  
final strew it with spice powders or sugar and serve forth?


On Feb 26, 2010, at 8:05 AM, Sharon Palmer wrote:

> The fleshy aril is the flavorful part.  The seed itself can be  
> eaten, but doesn't really have any flavor.  The dried ones used in  
> Middle eastern and Indian cooking include the flesh.  The Indian  
> ones I have are -very- hard, and can't be eaten without grinding -  
> lots of grinding.  I've heard there are softer Middle eastern ones,  
> that are more like raisins with a seed in the middle.
> The dried ones are used to add sourness to a dish, much like adding  
> lemon or verjuice, but they are nearly black and not the beautiful  
> red jewel of fresh ones.
> It's possible and even likely that dried ones were used in period,  
> but they seem an unlikely garnish.  At least they would need to be  
> soaked or something.  I'm sure that when the texts say grain, they  
> mean the whole aril whether fresh or dry, not just the seed inside.
> Ranvaig

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