The translucent seeds of the pomegranate glitter like rubies in the afternoon Moroccan sun. And nothing could refresh the body like pomegranate juice escaping after a few hours battling the hawkers, traders and crowds (and offers of mint tea) in the packed, humid, tangled labyrinthine souk in Marrakesh. Rarely sighted in Australia, pomegranates and pomegranate juice seem exotic luxuries that I was keen to taste.
Pushing the pomegranate into this primitive looking but cool machine, only hundreds of little red berries (called arils) remain. These hundreds of tiny liquid sacs are placed in a juicer along with a touch of orange blossom water (it’s new to me too!), to produce a blood red syrupy juice.
The tartness startles a dry mouth with the first sip (a bit like cranberry) but remains just sweet enough to be truly refreshing and thirst quenching.
Marketing of the product makes it sound like liquid tiger balm, associated with being the magic elixir for a whole host of diseases and ailments. It is undoubtedly healthy with lots of vitamins but I suspect the claims are vastly overstated.
Available throughout parts of north Africa, the Middle East and Turkey, seek out a local stand for juice from this wonderful juice and help recover from the parching desert heat.