A fruit from Paradise
The pomegranate (pɒmɨɡrænɨt/, Punica granatum) is a fruit-bearing deciduous shrub or small tree growing between five and eight meters tall.
Native to the area of modern day Turkey, Iran and Iraq, the pomegranate has been cultivated in the Caucasus since ancient times. From there it spread to Asian areas such as the Caucasus as well as the Himalayas in Northern India.
Today, it is widely cultivated throughout Turkey, Iran, Syria, Spain, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Iraq, Lebanon, Egypt, China, Burma, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Jordan, Philippines, the drier parts of southeast Asia, the Mediterranean region of Southern Europe, and tropical Africa.
According to the Qur'an, pomegranates grow in the gardens of paradise (55:068). The Qur'an also mentions pomegranates three times (6:99, 6:141, 55:68) as examples of good things God creates.
Pomegranate was the symbol of fertility in ancient Persian culture. In Persian mythology Isfandiyar eats a pomegranate and becomes invincible. In "The Persian War" Herodotus mentions golden pomegranates adorning the spears of warriors in the Persian phalanx. It also sometime symbolizes patriotism in death for the country. Even in today's Iran pomegranate sometimes implies love and fertility.
Iran and Turkey produces significant amount of high quality pomegranate every year. Its juice and in particular the paste has an essential role in some of the local cuisines, e.g. Fesenjoon, chicken and some types of ghormas.
For centuries, pomegranate skins have been used to stain wool and silk in the carpet industry. In addition you can find a pomegranate juice bar in every corner of the city and the suburbs.