Our Wonderful Peruvian Pomegranates
We are awaiting our first containers of pomegranates from Peru in May. The variety of pomegranate called “wonderful” is the most well-known exported variety of pomegranate, and is famous for its deliciously sweet taste and attractive red colour.
The specialists in these fruits of paradise are US Americans Alex Hall and his son Johnnie. They have settled down in Peru, where they cultivate pomegranates and other organic-quality fruits across approximately 50 hectares of land. Plans are being made for an additional 50 hectares. Volker Schmidt, our agricultural engineer, visited the South American country at the beginning of April. He inspected the on-site production, Johnnie Hall showed him his plantation.
The family-run business, Agricola Los Medanos, lies in the Ica lowlands, around 300 kilometres south of the capital city of Lima. The plantations are situated near Nazca, famous for the so-called “Nazca lines”. These are giant soil drawings in the desert which have been declared a world heritage site.
Generally, Peru tends to be a dry country. The fertile regions are to be found near rivers and wells. Hall’s pomegranates are also amply supplied with well water. Luckily, they do not have to deal with water scarcity.
During the day, the temperature at Ica reaches an average of 30 degrees Celsius, at night it is a mild 20 degrees. This difference in temperature is important, as it is only through this process that the pomegranates turn red in colour. This makes it clear that the colour of the outer shell says little about the ripeness of the fruit, and rather more about the variety of pomegranate. What’s more, a decently dry climate is advantageous when it comes to cultivating the otherwise relatively undemanding organic pomegranates. Air which is low in humidity offers fewer target sites for fungal diseases. Agricultural exports in Peru have multiplied in recent years as a result of the good conditions. The season for pomegranates in Peru lasts until the middle of June.
The pomegranate is a diverse fruit. The seeds of the pomegranate make a delicious and healthy supplement to your breakfast, or a fruity addition to a salad. The seeds can also be processed into a compote or juice. What’s more, the fruit also stands out due to its abundance of antioxidants, potassium, and B vitamins.
Text: Visnja Malesic
Pictures: BioTropic GmbH
Version from: April 2018