The first off-season pomegranates have been flying off the shelves on the East Coast, the Associated Press reports, their popularity boosted by the supposed health benefits from antioxidants in the fruit.
“I’ve seen fads for all kinds of fruit, like kiwi and blueberries, but not like this – it just keeps growing and won’t peak,” said Kevin Day, a pomegranate expert at the University of California, Davis.
Whole pomegranates grown in California, Mexico or the Middle East are seasonally available in the winter. Now New Yorkers desperate for their pomegranate antioxidants can buy the red, juicy seeds imported from India. The USDA currently bans import of the whole fruit from India; last year the department relaxed rules allowing the import of whole mangoes from India.