10/13/10

Are you crazy enough to count the seeds in a pomegranate? I am!

Let me ask you a question: are you crazy enough to count the seeds in a pomegranate?

Well, are you?

Here's what happened. A few weeks ago I received an email from Andrea, who works for POM, asking me if I'd like to go and visit POM orchards in Fresno, CA, all expenses paid. Are you kidding me!? Of course I said yes. Who cares that I just got back from a mini trip to Boston and will have to deal with a red-eye trip back that gets me to Dulles instead of DCA? I can handle that. I love pomegranates. And I'll have a great chance to meet some amazing bloggers!!!

When I told my dad about this trip, he asked me whether or not I knew that supposedly there are 613 seeds in each pomegranate, which corresponds to the number of good deeds a Jewish person is supposed to do according to the Torah. No, I did not know that, but I was going to do some research.


Last week I bought a pomegranate, sat down on my couch and decided to count the seeds while watching Modern Family. Actually, this task turned out easier than I originally thought. There was no mess and no pomegranate juice splatter, and it only took me 40 minutes from start to finish.

I decided to use an ice tray to keep track of my progress: 50 seeds in each compartment.



My findings? Alas, there are not 613 seeds in a pomegranate, at least not in the pomegranate that I used. My total was 488 seeds. I'm going to confess that I was quite disappointed.



Who knows, maybe the number of seeds corresponds to how "mature" a pomegranate is?


If you decide to do your own research, please let me know what you discover. And if you think that I'm crazy, check out this site!

At this point, however, I am just happy to be able to eat the fruits of my labor (sorry, could not resist) and to see how pomegranates grow in nature. I'm off to Fresno tomorrow and promise to take a lot of photos.

While I'll be away, I'll post a few recaps of my food adventures in Boston.

23 comments:

CapitolBites said...

This post makes me so happy. It is a bit disappointing that there weren't 613 seeds, but I guess it's the thought (myth?) that counts.

Megan said...

Ha ha. I can't believe you counted all those seeds, but I love how systematic you were... and now I really want a pomegranate! Have a great time! I can't wait to hear all about the trip.

Heavenly Housewife said...

You are so cute. I love this post :)
*kisses* HH

Jeanette said...

I truly love reading your post. They are always deliciously entertaining! After reading this one, I want to go out and buy a pomegranate so that I can count the seeds.
Hope you have a safe trip and I look forward to hearing all about it.

Cara said...

wow, as a math geek, I love your link! I do not think you're crazy, I've heard of this too. So perhaps it's not always true (as you've proven) but I take it to mean that a genetically-perfect pomegranate has 613 seeds. And let's face it, all species are prone to variation and evolution. But I believe there is meaning to this, and that it's not just a coincidence I think G-d had a reason for this as He does for everything. Did you know that it is traditional to eat pomegranates during Rosh Hashanah because of the 613 seeds-mitzvot connection?

Megan Carroll said...

I was reading your blog when you were commenting on mine... Love Pomegranates,and love that you counted them.

Esi said...

You are too funny and possibly have too much time on your hands :) Have *fun* in Fresno...I mean, it's not a fun town by any stretch of the imagination, but I'm sure it will be fun to be surrounded by POM!!!

Maggie said...

I adore that you counted the seeds - I would have, too! Although laughing at Mitchell and Cameron's awesomeness would have required several start-overs, I'm sure.

Sarah said...

This is so great! OK, please tell me how you got all those seeds out without making a mess, what's your secret? I always make a huge mess. Anyway, great post!

Sarah
Editor
RecipeLion.com

Junglefrog said...

O Olga... you seriously counted those seeds... That just made me laugh, although now I am tempted to do the same!! lol...

A Canadian Foodie said...

I thought I left a message - then someone came to the door. I have to say, this is a brilliant intro into your tour. I would be disappointed, too. But, I will count the seeds in mine, later - and keep you updated. That's the trouble with verifying myths. Sometimes it is better to NOT be demystified. Have a wonderful trip. I am happy that the possibility of meeting you at the trip at least brought me to your wonderful site.
:)
Valerie

Lauren said...

Lol! I love this! Pomegranates are so delicious but I'm so lazy about buying them and seeding them! Hope you enjoyed your delicious treat!

Anne said...

Hi Olga,

Nope - you're not crazy at all! I wrote the book "Pomegranates" (to my knowledge, still the only cookbook dedicated to that amazing fruit) and one Saturday morning I sat down and counted ALL the seeds in 3 different sized pomegranates. Yup - each size - different number.

Affiliation with number of mitzvot in the Torah - just a legend!
And another legend? Who said it was an apple tree in the Garden of Eden? We think it was a pomegranate tree!

Anyway - best of luck with your luscious blog.

More about pomegranates can be found on Planet-Pomegranate on: www.annekleinberg.com

Paige (Running Around Normal) said...

Oh man that's too awesome that you counted the arils!! haha :)

Amanda said...

If someone had told me the same thing, I bet that I would have tried to count them too. Even now I'm contemplating it...

(I was equally disappointed when you didn't get 613. It would have been enlightening to say the least)

Leslie said...

Man..I wish someone would pay for me to go on a foodie trip!!!!!
Modern family....LOVE it!

BlueToYou said...

i love the fact that you actually counted them. adorable, and a neat idea to promo your pom trip! :) my mom loves modern family and now that you recommend it, i'm going to have to try it out!

Melissa Gomez said...

Those statistical graphs make you look completely sane!

FamilySpice said...

We had that question as a contest during our POM party. Our POM had 615 seeds! Maybe yours was unusually small?

Anonymous said...

I count 624 today. :D California rocks.

Nova Peter Buchanan said...

Our pomegranate had 845.

Nova Peter Buchanan said...

Our research involved a quantity of one. We had two more but our counters (2 lovely daughters) were not to keen on doing it again. Our results? 845. I would guess they might have lost a couple and certainly could and would have scarfed a few down in the process. So we can probably add a tolerance of + or - 10 or so.

Olga @ MangoTomato said...

this just pretty much made my night!!!!