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One such ancient food, and perhaps arguably the most famously revered, is the
pomegranate (Punica Granatum). This fruit, while perhaps less common nowadays in the
average person’s daily diet, was commonplace in ancient times and has appeared in both a
medicinal as well as spiritual context countless times. Punica refers to the city of Carthage,
which provided Italy with some of the best pomegranates in ancient times, and Granatum
means seedy due to the pomegranate’s large amount of seeds . While the exact origins of
the pomegranate may remain contested, it has been accepted that it was first seen in the
Mediterranean and Near Eastern regions, which explains why its popularity and significance
in ancient times resides in this area to the exclusion of Western Europe and the Americas .
Further findings show that through trade the pomegranate has reached all corners of the
world. One opinion is that it was originally cultivated, purportedly, in 3000 BCE in Iran,
followed by 2000 BCE in North Africa, western Turkey, and Greece, 100 BCE in China, 800
CE in Spain, 1400 in Indonesia, and finally early 1700’s in the area now known as the United
States of America .