Kandahar Pomegranate

Ark of taste
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انار کند هار

Pomegranate (Punica granatum L.) is one of the most widely consumed fruits in Afghanistan.
There are 36 varieties of sweet and 11 varieties of acidulous (sour-sweet) pomegranate available in the country and most of them are grown in Kandahar, Herat, and Farah provinces. 
Two types, Anar-e-Kandahari and Fakhri, are unique. Pomegranate trees have a rugged trunk with greenish skin. The branches are an irregular shape, fruits are red color, and often end in a thorn-like tip. Leaves are opposite, and flowers are large and contain red petals. Each fruit has a weight between 300-850 grams. It has spongy skin, and the berries are very juicy with dark red color and small seeds with high capacity of storage (3-6 months at room temperature). The annual production average is 40 kilograms. Local people store them in various ways, such as keeping them inside straw or hanging them inside rooms for their own consumption in winter.
Some leading botanists believe that Afghanistan is the cradle of the world’s pomegranate production and even today, wild pomegranates are available in the foothill of the mountains.
According to Persian culture, the pomegranate is the symbol of happiness, blessing, and childbirth due to its many seeds and red color. It is one of the main fruits of Shab-e-Yelda, the longest night since starting the winter. On this night, all families and friends come to gather and start composing songs, reciting poems, and stories, and enjoying the night and ending by reading books from fortune-telling. The eating of pomegranate fruit is common during this night because of the culture and beliefs of people in the north-west and central part of the country, even in the cities and villages. 
It is used as fresh fruit, in the form of juice, jam, syrup, and molasses. The indigenous people use pomegranate skin as medicine against diarrhea and intestinal worms. But in general, pomegranate skin is used for dyeing textiles in the traditional way.
Due to the lack of knowledge, farmers prefer the seedless variety rather than other native pomegranates such as Anar-e-Kandahar and Fakhri and it is the main reason of its production decreasing.

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Territory

StateAfghanistan
Region

Farah

Herat

Kandahar

Other info

Categories

Fruit, nuts and fruit preserves

Nominated by:Abdullah Faiz