Originating in Persia (Iran), the pomegranate has been cultivated for at least 5000 years in Occidental Asia and North Africa. It was introduced in Europe into the current of VIIIème century by the Arabs via Spain where it was abundantly cultivated in Andalusia in the province which will bear its name, as well as the town of Elvira, which will be renamed Grenade.
The Romans knew the grenade thanks to Phéniciens who brought it of Phénicie (Lebanon) to Rome, from where its scientific name of Punica. The bible made there several times reference, and the grenade could be the forbidden fruit well. The Mahomet prophet, thought that the grenade drove out the desire and hatred. They are the Arabs who brought the fruit to Europe, and the Spanish city of Grenade, founded to Xe century, owes him its name.
The culture of pomegranate is very old in Tunisia. It dates, at least, of the time phenician.
The pomegranate is cultivated in the coastal areas of north, the center and the south and in much of areas inside the country. This species is regarded as a principal component of the oases of the south. However, one notes a domination of Beja and Nabeul in North, like Sidi Bouzid, Kairouan and Mehdia for the Center, and Gabès in the South. However, the latter monopolizes most of the orchard.
This area is known since the olden days by its merry coastal oasis. This oasis is classified like most important of the Mediterranean dimension.
Of this mixture of the Mediterranean, of one ground at the same time rich in salt and generous and of a sky shone upon throughout the year is produced the variety of grenade known as “Gabsi Grenade”.
It is an early semi variety. The fruits can be collected as from mid-September. The Gabsi pomegranate is very cultivated in the south of the country (littoral oasis). One finds it in the Western oases, the zone of Kairouan and some orchards of north (Zaghouan, Bizerte). One distinguishes approximately two types:
- Khadhouri: Producing very pretty and very large fruits of red coloring. It is the type more cultivated.
- Hammouri: Producing fruits of less size. The fruits are rather juicy with a fairly sweetened juice.
It is a large round bay, size of a large orange, with hard bark and coriace, of red color or yellow-beige, which contains in “cabins” delimited by thick partitions, many pips of color pink-salmon to red ruby, of the gem shape characteristic of ruby.
In each pip, the seed is coated with a gelatinous pulp of transparent red flesh, sweetened at the improved varieties, if not of a rather bitter taste. Only the pips constitute the edible part of the grenade is approximately half of the fruit.
With maturity, the skin of the grenade darkens, is thinned and hardened to the extreme. Its bark then constituting an effective protection for the pulp locked up inside very many thin partitions.
In addition to the common characteristics of the grenades, such as the fact which is rich in antioxydant, carcinogenic anti factors and of stimulant aphrodisiac, our variety of “Gabsi Grenades” is characterized by its high content in juice, its very balanced taste sweetens some and especially with pips melting in the mouth which ensure us a pleasant consumption.
Main features of the Gabsi grenades:
|Average weight||500 G|
|Sugar rate||150 G/L|
|Colors juice||Pink dark|
A fruit, a soil
The area of Gabès in the south is very known for these pomegranates which develop with the shade of the palm trees – date palms of its peaceful coastal oases. As of the Middle Ages, Arab chroniclers and geographers mentioned the exceptional quality of the grenades of Gabès. Though largely spread and cultivated in the coastal areas of north, the center and the south and in much of areas inside the country, the pomegranate remains closely related in the spirit of very famous Tunisian with Gabès to the national level for its grenades of excellent quality whose project of valorization and protection by a recording in one of the identification marks of the origin and quality is under study.
|Grenade (food value for 100g)|
|water: 79 to 80%||nitrogenized matters: 1,2%||chechmate. hydrocarbon: 16%|
|fibers: 3 to 3,5 G||energy value: 52 to 60 kcals||glucids: 13 G|
|proteins: 1 G||lipids: 0,5 G||simple sugars: G|
|total ashes: G|
|Rock salt & trace elements|
|potassium: 250 Mg||phosphorus: 22 Mg||calcium: 11 Mg|
|sodium: 5 Mg||iron: 1 Mg||zinc: 200 µg|
|Manganese: 100 µg||magnesium: 5 Mg||copper: 100 µg|
|vitamin C: 20 Mg||B1 vitamin: 30 µg||B2 vitamin: 20 µg|
|B5 vitamin: 50 µg||B6 vitamin: 10 µg||B9 vitamin: µg|
|vitamin a: 30 µg||rétinol: µg||vitamin E: µg|
|B3/PP/Niacine: 20 µg||B12 vitamin: µg||vitamin K: µg|
|saturated: G||mono-unsaturates: G||poly-unsaturates: G|
|cholesterol: 0 Mg|
Indeed the grenade contains phosphorus, potassium, magnesium and iron. It contains a also little vitamin C. This fruit is one of natural antioxydants most powerful and contains anti-inflammatory drugs which give him virtues comparable with those of the wine and green the, However the juice of grenade has remarkable beneficial virtues for health, blood circulation, the arteriosclerosis and tachycardia.
The extract of skin of the grenade contains powerful antioxydants polyphenolic which seem to inhibit the development of the athérosclérose, to reduce the cardiovascular disease risk and to influence hypertension. The grenade also makes it possible to reduce the systolic blood pressure by inhibiting the enzyme of conversion of the serum of angiotension (ACE).
Research suggests that the grenade could also be effective against the cancer of the prostate, and the ostéoarthrite. The grenade is used in traditional medicine: – it increases the libido while fighting against the disorders of erection, – in gargarism, it looks after persistent coughs, – it is effective in the event of fever, of diarrheas, colic and can also be used as vermifuge. Pink seeds of the grenade, one extracts a drink, the “sambu”. It is used in cures of regeneration and internal cleaning which, according to its preparers, would also make it possible to help to lose the overweight
These properties were recently discovered following studies undertaken in various countries on the effects of the plants on the organization, and according to these studies, the regular juice consumption of grenade takes part in the cardiovascular good performance.
With the purchase, select the grenades whose bark is dark, of a major red to brown. The small grenades are usually dry, woody, bitter and inedible. The heavier the fruit is, the more pulp will be juicy. The skin must be quite smooth and brilliance, free from brunissures. It is said that the fruit is ripe when while typing above, it emits a metal sound.
The fruit is eaten natural to peel grain by grain and he is very appreciated children. He can be used to make sorbets, drinks, artisanal syrup of grenadine, which enters like ingredient cooked dishes.
Used in kitchen, she adds an acid note, like the vinegar or the juice of lemon. In Tunisia and in the Eastern countries in general, the grenade is often consumed fresh added with a thread of water with flower with orange tree.
In the kitchen of Penjab, in the north of India, its dried seeds are used like spices in dishes vegetarians, to which they bring a tart taste.
The Iranian kitchen holds also an important place for him. The juice of grenade and the concentrate of grenade are very current in Iran. Its concentrate is used in various dishes and in particular the fessenjan, a delicious dish (accompanied by rice) with duck, nut chopped and concentrated grenade.
In addition to consumption in a fresh state, the fruits are used for the manufacture of soft drinks. By-products (bark of the fruits, etc) are used, traditionally, in popular medicine and dyeing.