Monday, November 08, 2010

The Public Relations/Marketing Accomplishment of the Century

How did pomegranates go from being junk fruit to nutritional super stardom?
As a kid, I recall pomegranate trees all over the neighborhood. The edible part was hard to appreciate because like artichokes, it took too much work for too little reward.
Pomegranates back then were far more useful as projectile weapons in playground wars, or pecked at by birds to produce more colorful poop.
At no point did my mother ever suggest we gather pomegranates as a fruit salad additive, a cocktail base or pie fixin's.
Like all fruit, pomegranates contain beneficial nutrients and vitamins, but how did they suddenly surpass apples, oranges and bananas in nutritional value?
It seems to me some crafty pomegranate tree growers hired a brilliant PR team to create a campaign of stratospheric success. One good campaign led to another, and now we are a nation that tries to use the sparse meat of the fruit in every conceivable combination.
I have never tried pomegranate juice, a pomegranate martini or any recipe that includes the seedy bits, but I have tasted pomegranates and I fail to see what all the hubbub is about.
The sudden upgrade in the status of pomegranates, like the teabagger movement, has been a remarkable marketing ploy that took something basically unappealing and made it into a sensation.
Yes, folks, pomegranates are the Sarah Palin of fruits.
You can have my share.


nonnie9999 said...

cactus pear is another contender for useless fruits. i saw them at a little store near here, and i thought i'd try them. i picked out a couple. as i continued walking through the store, i noticed that my hands were hurting. i had tiny cactus spines in my fingers. i went to the office and asked for some scotch tape to see if i could pull them out that way. didn't work. i got the devil fruit home, and after trying everything i could think of to get the shit out of my fingers (thanks to the internets, i found that several layers of elmer's glue worked best, but i couldn't get all of them), i put on rubber gloves and cut the fruit open. it was so pretty! i tried taking a bite out of it, and i got a mouth full of pits. there was maybe 1/16 of an inch of fruit along the skin, and the rest was pits. what there was of the fruit was delicious, but you don't even get an entire spoonful after all the agony. i left the second pear on the counter, and the next day, i looked up how you're supposed to eat the fucking things, and every site said that it's best used for its juice. later that night, i went into the kitchen to make dinner. i picked up the plastic bag that the remaining pear was in, and i'll be damned if i didn't get those fucking things in my fingers all over again right through the fucking bag. it was at that point that i told a piece of fruit to go fuck itself, and i threw it in the garbage. for over a week, i felt like i had a thousand little papercuts in my hands. now, it seems like cactus pears are all over the place. the little store still has them, and i saw them in the supermarket, too. i don't get within 6 feet of the fuckers. my hands hurt just looking at them.

Karen Zipdrive said...

My big brother Billy picked some prickly pears in his yard and created a very interesting syrup with the juices. It made a great marinade and I imagine it would be nice in a tequila or rum-based cocktail.
But those little spikes are demonic, and even rubber gloves don't guarantee your safety.
Unlike the pomegranate tree, however, cacti can serve as nature's little burglar bars.

bigsis said...

Big bro Billy had to use his blow torch to burn the stickers off the prickly pears and it took him hours. No fruit is worth having to use welding equipment. As for pomegranates, they're exotic looking beauties but they cost at least $3.99 each and how the hell do you eat them? You're right Zip, its all in the marketing.

Iain said...

I have fond memories of pomegranates in the 80's. They were a treat, more for the time it would take my mum to peel the things rather than taste, to be enjoyed after getting ready for bed and before being allowed to watch Starsky and Hutch. Can't think I'd invest that time now, superfood or not.

Distributorcap said...

i used to call them chinese apples

no wonder they are now the star of the fruitworld (along with Miss Lindsey and Miss McConnell)

Lisa said...

Poms are like inside out hedgeapples which we used to like to bust on the road. And yes, I was too lazy to spell out the whole word.

Dusty,Hells most vocal Bitch said...

POM, the brand being touted, has been around for-fucking-ever, so you are spot on that the growers or producers hired a simply wonderful PR firm.

someone can have my share too.