Organic pomegranates from Söke in Turkey

The pomegranate is a very old cultivated plant, and was once grown in the gardens of ancient Egypt. They originate between Iran and India, and have long been cultivated and valued in the Mediterranean as well. In ancient times, the fruit was a symbol of fertility because of its many kernels, and it is said to have been the fruit of the tree of knowledge in Biblical paradise. Pomegranates are among the most nutritious fruit types. They are rich in antioxidants, potassium and vitamin B.

Mehmet Daldal shows BASAK Tarim's tasty pomegranates

In the Turkish Söke, on the Turkish Aegean coast, the producers association BASAK Tarim has specialized in the beautiful paradise fruit.

Three Dutch BioTropic employees, Ronald Vianen, Joep van Koevorden and Sven de Jongh, were visiting BASAK Tarim mid October. They were picked up at the airport by Mehmet Daldal, one of the four producers of Basak Tarim. He tells that BASAK Tarim was founded in 1986 by him and three other agricultural engineers - to this day they still form a producers partnership. One of them decided in 2007 to grow the pomegranates organically. Because pomegranates are constantly in demand, the association decided to enter the organic business entirely, and built a modern warehouse with cooling options, for organic fruit only. 600 tons of fresh pomegranates can be processed and packaged per season. Now, Basak Tarim works alongside three pomegranate producers.

Sparkling and full of juice: red pomegranate cores

The great harvest begins at the start of October, and lasts around 2 weeks. As soon as the pomegranates are picked off the tree, they do not ripen any further. That is why it is important to know the right time, on which the taste and shelf life are optimally adjusted. The color of the outer shell does not necessarily say anything about the ripeness of the fruit, but rather about the variety of pomegranate, of which there are around 400 types. Their colors range from light red to deep red, the skin is thick and leathery. The cores can be pale pink to bright red, and are sour to sweet.

Basak Tarim grows the type "Hicaz". It is somewhat less sweet than the standard type "Wonderful", although experts say that the overall taste is a lot better. "We use everything of the pomegranate, nothing is being thrown away", Mehmet Daldal says. "we produce fresh pomegranate juice, pomegranate syrup, dried pomegranate shells, dried pomegranate cores, pomegranate kernel oil and dried pomegranate blossoms."

Source: / Text: BioTropic / Visnja Malesic

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