The pomegranate is a native fruit of the Mediterranean regions and has been grown there for thousands of years.The tree was brought into California by Spanish settlers in the late 1700’s. It’s primarily grown for fruit production in the drier parts of California and Arizona. The actual fruit is pink to bright red in color and is the approximate size of a softball. For those of you on a diet, one pomegranate is approximately 100 calories. When you open up a pomegranate there are little fruit sacs inside that look a little like vitamin E capsules (except they are red). The fruit is held together by a white, spongy, bitter tissue. Try not to eat the tissue as it does not taste very good. You can get the actual fruit in supermarkets from about October thru January, for the remainder of the year you will need to buy the juice.
The name "pomegranate" derives from Latin pomum ("apple") and granatus ("seeded"). This has influenced the common name for pomegranate in many languages (e.g., German Granatapfel, seeded apple). The genus name Punica is named for the Phoenicians, who were active in broadening its cultivation, partly for religious reasons. In classical Latin, where "malum" was broadly applied to many apple-like fruits, the pomegranate's name was malum punicum or malum granatum, the latter giving rise to the Italian name melograno, or less commonly melagrana.
A widespread root for "pomegranate" comes from the Ancient Egyptian rmn, from which derive the Hebrew rimmôn, and Arabic rummân. This root was given by Arabs to other languages, including Portuguese (romã), Kabyle rrumman and Maltese "rummien". The pomegranate ('rimmôn') is mentioned in the Bible as one of the seven fruits/plants that Israel was blessed with, and in Hebrew, 'rimmôn' is also the name of the weapon now called the grenade. According to Webster's New Spanish-English Dictionary, "granada," the Spanish word for "pomegranate," could also mean "grenade." According to the OED, the word "grenade" originated about 1532 from the French name for the pomegranate, la grenade. La grenade also gives us the word grenadine, the name of a kind of fruit syrup, originally made from pomegranates, which is widely used as a cordial and in cocktails.