If you love pomegranates, you may be on the lookout for other, similar varieties to try out. While these gems are quite unusual, there are a few fruits like pomegranate that you can taste too. Read on to discover 5 substitutes that you may love as well!
1. Socotran Pomegranates
When you look at a Socotran pomegranate, you’re actually looking back in time. That’s because these are the precursors to modern pomegranates. Basically, they’re related in the same way that Brassica oleracea is the wild ancestor of kale, broccoli, and cabbage. These globe-shaped fruits may look similar, but are quite different in both flavor and usage.
For example, you can’t eat this fruit raw the way you can a regular pomegranate. The pith and juice are so acidic that they’ll cause sores if you try to consume them. As a result, people use the fruits and rinds in different ways. For example, they’ll add some of the juice or powdered skin to milk. This technique sours the liquid, curdling it. At this point, they can churn it to transform it into cheese or butter.
These fruits can only be found in Yemen, where they originated, and Hawaii.
Related Article: Where are Pomegranates Grown?
2. Passion Fruits
Have you ever tasted passion fruits? If you have, you’ve likely noticed that they’re full of seeds. Much like pomegranates, they have heavy seed cavities surrounded by edible pith. Unlike pomegranates, however, their flesh is sweet rather than tart.
These fruits are available fresh all over the world. In fact, you can even grow them yourself if you live in zones 4 or above. Just be aware that their flesh is as soporific as their flowers and leaves. All parts of this plant have a sedative effect. As a result, eating more than one fruit at a time might put you down for a nap.
3. Red Currants
Currants aren’t related to pomegranates in any way, shape, or form. Rather, their similarity lies in their flavor, instead of shared genetics. These tiny red gems are more closely related to gooseberries and grapes. The good news is that they’re sweet-tart, like pomegranates, and are excellent substitutes for those juicy, crunchy pips.
Much like poms, you can also put currants through a juicer. The result will be a beautifully tart juice that can be used fresh, or cooked down into syrup.
While figs have neither the flavor nor texture of pomegranate, they do have a ton of seeds in them. Some people love to each pomegranates because they love to crunch on the seeds within. If that’s your jam, then get yourself some fresh figs.
They have a velvety, sweet texture that’s chock full of crunch-able seeds. You can’t juice figs the same way you can juice pomegranates, but they also make a wonderful addition to desserts and salads.
Read This Next: What do Pomegranate Seeds Taste Like?
Speaking of crunchy seeds, did you know that guava seeds are edible too? There are a few different guava varieties available, and some have more seeds than others. Regardless of species, however, their little white seeds are completely safe to nosh on.
Much like pomegranates, guavas have a sweet-tart flavor that’s both rich and refreshing. You can use guava in some of the same ways as pomegranate seeds, such as for granola or cake toppings. Alternatively, you can also juice these fruits and use that juice in granitas, sorbets, and smoothies.
As you can see, there really aren’t many other fruits like pomegranate out there. Or rather, there aren’t any that are close enough to be used interchangeably.
If you’re looking for pomegranate substitutes for cooking or baking, rather than fresh eating, then you have some additional options. For example, you can use reduced cherry or grape juice instead of pomegranate molasses. Alternatively, if you want a sweet crunch in your salad that you like from pomegranate pips, try using corn kernels instead.
Finally, remember that you can also grow pom trees indoors. This is a great option for people who love the fruit, and want to be able to grow it themselves. These trees grow beautifully in containers, and are easy for beginners to cultivate. If you go this route, you won’t have to wait until the fruits appear in stores! You can just pick your own, whenever you like.