Petimezi made from pomegranate juice is just as delicious and with the same healthy benefits and uses as the more common grape juice petimezi.
Petimezi, the world’s oldest natural sweetener, is used in Greek cuisine since ancient times. It was mentioned as far back as the 5th century by Hippocrates father of medicine. It is sweet/sour syrup produced by boiling pure pomegranate juice until it is reduced to a thick concentrated syrup.
Petimezi, when produced in the traditional process, is expensive in comparison with other artificial sweeteners mainly because of the great quantities of pomegranate juice required to produce the end product. It takes more than 100 pounds (48kg) of pomegranates to produce one liter of pomegranate-based petimezi.
The pomegranate, a seasonal autumn/winter fruit with its rich ruby jewel-like seeds, is one of the world’s oldest cultivated fruit believed by the ancient Greeks to have been planted by Aphrodite, goddess of love, on the Island of Cyprus.
In Greek mythology the pomegranate symbolizes fertility, birth, death, rebirth, and hope. In ancient Greece after the pomegranate harvest around October time, they held a three-day festival devoted to women in honor of Demeter, the goddess of agriculture and spring. On the third day was the eating of the pomegranate seeds, to ensure fertility and many offspring. Even today in some villages, young brides throw a pomegranate through the doorway of their new home with enough force to burst the fruit, causing the seeds to spill out. This is thought to bring hope for a marriage filled with children and good fortune.
Pomegranates along with wheat stalks and walnuts were used to make wreaths, which adorned doorways in autumn, which in ancient times was the start of the New Year. Until today in Greece, the pomegranate symbolizes the New Year. Pomegranate seeds are still used today, together with wheat kernels, nuts, and raisins, in a sweet funeral dish called koliva, which symbolizes rebirth.
Packed full of vitamins A, B, and C, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, and iron, pomegranates have more antioxidants than red wine or green tea. Recent studies suggest it can lower the risk of heart disease, lower blood pressure, boost immunity system, ward off Alzheimer’s disease, reduce arthritis symptoms, and has anti-cancer properties, as well as slowing down the ageing process.
What better way to get a daily dose of this natural healer than from petmezi made from 100% pure concentrated pomegranate juice with no sugar or additives.
The tangy sweetness of pomegranate petimezi enhances grilled meats, compliments salads when used as a dressing, alone or with a little wine vinegar, adds a delicious tart, sweetness to ice cream and thick creamy Greek yogurt. It is delicious drizzled on fruit and is absolutely divine poured over cheesecake!