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Pomegranates - Another Symbolic Fruit of Armenia.

In Armenian mythology the pomegranate symbolizes fertility and abundance. The fruit is the Armenian symbol of life and tradition tells us that each mature pomegranate has 365 seeds, one for each day of the year.

Celebrated for centuries in art, mythology, religious texts and literature, and even in fashion, pomegranates are widely represented in many different works. Filmmaker Sergei Parajanov used this symbolic fruit as the title to his great 20th century masterpiece The Color of Pomegranates. Sandro Botticelli and Leonardo da Vinci depicted the pomegranate in their paintings. Even the famous Armenian artist Martiros Saryan used this symbol of life in his painting Under Pomegranate Tree. And illustrated Armenian manuscripts dating as far back as the Sixth and Seventh centuries depict many figures of fruits, including pomegranates, as representations of the blood of Christ.

A symbol of life, this fruit has many legitimate health benefits. Pomegranate juice, which contains vitamin C, folic acid, and antioxidants, is recommended for many illnesses. And Armenian pomegranate wine, famous for its semisweet taste, also holds many antioxidants, which may contribute to longevity.

Although Armenia's main fruit is the apricot, many villages east and north of Yerevan grow and export pomegranates to countries such as Iran and Georgia, and throughout the Middle East. Armenians have also used pomegranates in most of their recipes, particularly in a Persian dish called Fesanjun, which is comprised of pomegranate puree, crushed walnuts, and duck or chicken meat.

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