I’ve become kind of a pomegranate juice addict lately. There’s just something captivating about pomegranates. When you open one, you are greeted with little red pearls of magical goodness. It’s almost like each one of those arils are a wish about to come true.
Curiously when people talk about Turkey, you hear about the tea, coffee, baklava, kebabs, carpets and genuine fake merchandise. But Turkey’s best kept secret (and one of the few things you can’t find in Greece) is pomegranates. In fact after the tea, pomegranates are the probably the next best thing to try. And lucky for everyone, pomegranate juice street vendors seem to be all over Kusadasi.
Admittedly, I’ve probably just watched too many POM Wonderful ads but as far as addictions, go this one is probably fairly tame. At least, it’s better than my Taksim burger addiction which turns out, is not as delicious when eaten sober. Or my Turkish barber addiction which turned out a bit awkward to have so much male attention. And then there were the classic addictions, like the day-old desserts in the crew mess, which were never quite good but were still compelling enough to eat. Or the overly salty cheese pizza, which just goes to show that you can indeed fuck up pizza if you really wanted. Or the crew ice-cream, which looks like a blend of chocolate and strawberry but tastes like sugar, ice and despair.
Strangely enough, none of my fellow crew members seem to share my excitement about pomegranates. I’ve even extolled the virtues of pomegranate juice beyond its mysterious color and playful flavors. Pomegranate juice is known as a superfood because of its antioxidant properties and has been the source of traditional Ayurvedic remedies for millennia. Besides, it tastes awesome.
Anyway, I try to purchase a glass of freshly-squeezed pomegranate juice from one of the many road-side vendors each time I’m in Kusadasi. I’ve even become a bit of an expert – I can now take one look at the fruit and I know if it’s going to be good or not. Yesterday when we were in Kusadasi, I happened across a small street vendor in a narrow alley with massive, glowing pomegranates. I knew I had hit the jackpot. I paid the 5 Lira (2 euros) and watched intently as he cut two pomegranates into four halves and squeezed every last drop into a large glass. 100% freshly-squeezed, pure pomegranate juice.
It was like drinking the sweet enchanted blood of unicorns. As an older couple passed by, I excited shouted “You need to get this pomegranate juice, it’s amazing!”
“Oh, it’s good?” the husband inquired. That was my cue to launch into my spiel about the wonders of pomegranate juice. By the time I was finished, there were 6 people around me waiting to purchase pomegranate juice from the bewildered vendor. I finished my juice and sheepishly left the scene.
Pomegranate juice, you should drink it!
This post was not sponsored by the pomegranate industry. For more information about pomegranate juice check out: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pomegranate_juice.