Pomegranate Molasses


For a long time, culinary wisdom held that there were four basic flavors that the taste buds could measure—sweet, sour, salty, and fat—and that much of the art of cooking lay in learning how to balance those four basic flavors. But it turns out that there’s a fifth taste at play: umami. Umami is actually less about flavor and more a certain savory sensation in the mouth, and pomegranate has it in abundance. As a cook, I revel in the tannins in pomegranate (which echo those in red wine). It’s a wake-up call for the taste buds. Concentrating pomegranate juice into pomegranate molasses only ups the ante. You may be able to find pomegranate molasses in specialty stores or ethnic markets, but as you’ll see in this recipe, it’s really easy to make. Just three ingredients: pomegranate juice, Grade B maple syrup, and lemon juice. It’s great drizzled over soup, lamb, fish, or chicken or even added to a smoothie. Try Pomegranate Molasses in my delicious Roasted Strawberries with Basil recipe.

4 cups unsweetened pomegranate juice
1/3 cup Grade A Dark Amber maple syrup
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

Put all the ingredients in a large saucepan over medium high heat and stir to combine. Cook uncovered until the mixture starts to bubble. Decrease the heat to very low— just enough to maintain a simmer—and cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, until syrupy and reduced to about 1 1/4 cups, about 45 minutes Taste; you may want to add a bit of maple syrup or a squeeze of lemon juice.

Prefer not to make it? Buy it here.

COOK’S NOTE: Pomegranate molasses is basically a reduction: a culinary preparation made by cooking down a liquid (usually broth, wine, or a sauce) until evaporation reduces its volume. The result is a thicker consistency and intensified flavor.

Reprinted with permission from The Longevity Kitchen: Satisfying, Big-Flavor Recipes Featuring the Top 16 Age-Busting Power Foods. Copyright © 2013 by Rebecca Katz with Mat Edelson, Ten Speed Press, a division of the Crown Publishing Group, Berkeley, CA.

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