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Museum Musings

Which came first, the pomegranate or the cranberry?

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Cranberry sauce is a staple at most Thanksgiving dinners. And pomegranates are a very important symbol in Judaism. As I was developing this recipe, I couldn’t help but think about all the interesting parallels between cranberries and pomegranates, Thanksgiving and Judaism. Here are a few to mull over as your sauce is cooking.

1) The vibrant magenta color of the cranberry which was present at the first Thanksgiving, interestingly enough, is matched only by the arils of pomegranates, which have been part of the Jewish table for centuries. This color is not found anywhere else in nature.

2) Pomegranates are said to represent fertility, knowledge, learning, and wisdom. Cranberries inspire history, success, and hard-work. These are very similar themes.

3) Cranberries, like Thanksgiving, are native to North America. Pomegranates, like the Jewish people, came to America from across an ocean.

4) Pomegranates on average have 613 arils, which also happens to be the number of commandments in the Torah. There are approx. 27 different chemical compounds which promote good health in each cranberry, which also happens to be the number of amendments to the Constitution.

Do you have any others to add? If so, please share with us in the comments section.

 

Pomegranate Cranberry Sauce


Combine 2 cups pomegranate arils with 16 oz. POM juice and 16 oz. of cranberries in a small sauce pan and bring to a simmer. As the cranberries cook, you will hear them pop, releasing their pectin and one-of-a-kind flavor. cb one


This naturally high pectin concentration will help the sauce to thicken. Cook for about 20 minutes, then check the tartness/sweetness ratio. If you prefer a sweeter sauce, add sugar, ¼ c at a time, until the sauce is to your liking.


cb2Strain through a fine mesh to remove the pomegranate seeds, and return to the pan. If you like chunky sauce, you can add more cranberries at this point.


Cook over low heat until reduced by 25%, about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Now cool. The sauce will thicken as it cools.

Enjoy over pastrami turkey, and the rest of your Thanksgivukkuh dinner!

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By Ebony Goldsmith, Marketing and Communications Assistant