Tangy and tart. This stuff’ll make your mouth pucker.
I’ve only been at this food-blogging thing for a month or two, and so I’ve been pretty slow to spread the word about my silly little recipes and accompanying musings. I figured I should have something substantial before announcing “Hey! Look! I have a blog!” So when I finally shared this stuff with my dear friend and old roommate Ant, the one great, nay, brilliant question she had for me was:
“What of pomegranate molasses?”
What of pomegranate molasses, indeed?
You see, Ant had the opportunity to observe my cooking habits for some time, so she knows this item is one of my favorites. This tart-n-tangy-yet-somehow-still-sweet syrup has become an absolute staple in my cupboard. The funny thing is that I only learned about it a year or so ago. Allow me, thus, to tell you the story of how I discovered what ‘Chefski and I affectionally call pomegranate molass:
The first time I ever visited DC, ‘Chefski took a few of our friends and me to dine at a restaurant in the heart of the illustrious Petworth neighborhood, a short walk from Georgia Ave, and past the peopled porches of those sitting out to enjoy the warm summer evening air. Some in our party were a bit skeptical of where poor ‘Chefski was taking us (and said so), but I knew it would be good. And it was!
Furnished with mismatched couches and coffee tables, illuminated by a faux-crystal chandelier and christmas lights, W Domku is an incredibly inviting, cozy little place that I felt at home in within a matter of seconds. That first time, after a delicious meal of pierogi, kielbasa, and other decidedly Slavic delicacies, I encountered one of the oddest yet tastiest desserts I’ve ever had: beet cake.
Now, hold on, hear me out. This stuff is amazing. Sweet and dense, beet cake could be a close cousin to carrot cake (I mean, they’re both made of root veggies). In truth, it has more of a brownie-like consistency, except the flavor is sweet and fruity (which, in my book, makes it infinitely better than a brownie).”Them’s fightin’ words,” you may say. I say, try the cake!
Anyway, the first chance I got I looked up the recipe to make it myself, and one of the key ingredients (according to Tyler Florence anyway) is (you guessed it)”pomegranate molasses.”
At that moment I was overwhelmed with questions: What is it? Where does it come from? What’s it even for? After a successful mission to Whole Food I finally got my hands on the stuff, but one thing led to another, and I have yet to make this cake, so I honestly can’t even say that’s one of the uses. But I did learn this:
By no means a one trick pony, this special molass is featured quite regularly in Middle Eastern cuisine as a marinade. I’ve made chicken and pork soaked in just a couple of spoonfuls of it, and the result is always a super moist, sweet-n-sour, powerfully-flavored main dish. I highly recommend it.
You could also:
- Toss it into tempeh (recipe coming soon)
- Swirl some into your morning oatmeal, farina, or grits (with plenty of splenda, if you want to offset the tartness)
- Drizzle it onto yogurt
Whatever you do with it, as long as you have a taste for Sweet Tarts, I think you’ll like this too.
Oh, and when I finally make that beet cake I spent most of this post talking about, I’ll let you know 😉
Pom Molass; Just as crucial as the sugar cane kind.