A pomegranate is one of the sensual fruits.

Hardly a fruit under the tough leather red skin all it is is a tight compact grouping of seeds each made up of a small husk and a deep purple burst of juice. Its the same purple as beetroot, staining as at scatters across the kitchen. One of them will last for a week or so in the fruitbowl. If you see one buy it even though you may have nothing planned for it you will find something to do with it.

For the last week or so the grocers have had them, 49p for a small one a bit more expensive for a large one 5 inches across. You will need a sharp knife to split it, pierce the skin then drag the blade down, smell it and take in the deep musky smell. Use the nib of the knife to prise out one of the seeds and bite into it, the skin bursting and the sudden escape of flavour as the husk gets chewed.

There is a fiddle to extracting all of the seeds. A bit like the pith round an orange there is a white skien of inner skin that needs to be got rid of. The best way to do it is to spread the fruit with your fingers so the seeds are exposed and brush them off into a bowl.

Last night I scattered the seeds over aubergine with yogurt. There were two bowls. One for the vegetarians and another with a bit of meat – minced lamb fried at a high heat with onions and cinnamam. There was another plate of tomatoes and peppers fried with caraway seeds and a larger bowl of the squid quickly fried with chickpeas and kale.

After that we had red mullet on linguine followed by 7 quinces in cream. the quinces were cooked for an hour in a low oven with a good scattering of sugar, water and a vanilla pod I found in the basement which I think must be at least 18 years old.


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