Pomegranate is a source of minerals, including above all potassium and phosphorus, but there are also good quantities of sodium, magnesium and iron, while zinc, manganese and copper are present in trace amounts. Pomegranate is quite rich in vitamin C or ascorbic acid and contains a decent level of provitamin A After having opened the fruit with a knife, it is necessary to split it into several parts and extract the seeds by detaching them from the membranes to which they are attached.
In the case of significant quantities, separation is favored by the fact that the seeds sink while immersed in water while the membranes float. In Daunia, the pomegranate is renowned for being one of the main ingredients of cooked wheat (cicce cutte in Lucerino dialect), a dessert that is prepared for the Commemoration of the dead.
Like all the other ingredients, the pomegranate seeds used to prepare this recipe have a symbolism that simultaneously recalls death and prosperity. The flavor of the juice is very variable, according to the varieties. Some juices can be very sweet, others more acidic.
Usually the flavor is intermediate, with a sweet base, an acidic base, and a slightly bitter and astringent tone given by the tannic component of the aril. It is used for its medicinal properties, the peel of the fruits harvested in autumn, rich in tannin, cut into small pieces and dried in the air.
The powder obtained, used as a decoction, has tenifugal, astringent, and sedative properties in dysentery; for external use the decoction has astringent properties, for enemas or vaginal irrigations. The production of real pomegranate juice is very expensive, as it requires a lot of labor for a small product.
The juice is often used, in the traditional cuisines of the countries of origin, to prepare sauces, sweet or spicy, for traditional foods, to garnish meat or rice. Pomegranate juice is an excellent source of vitamin C and group B, potassium and large quantities of antioxidant polyphenols.
The seeds are often consumed directly, but since the edible part is the translucent pulp that adheres and surrounds the seed, in order to swallow the pulp it is also necessary to swallow the seed, which is woody. This explains the fact that the greatest consumption occurs after the extraction of the juice from the pulp. The fruit peels also have aromatic properties and are used to give the bitter taste to Vermouth and aperitifs.