Pucker up for a Pomegranate Party in Madera

The jewel-like fruit is the center of attention, but nuts'll get some love, too.

NAME A FALL FRUIT, and your first choice might be the apple, or even the pear, which both make strong showings in that iconic beverage of autumntime, cider. You might pick the pumpkin, which is also a famous fruit that's often seen and duly admired as October wanes, or maybe even the fig, which will soon bring plenty of jammy oomph to the dishes of Christmas. But let us also pay heartfelt homage to another amazing orb of autumn, one that seems to have as many seeds as a pumpkin, though these seeds are often referred to as tiny jewels. They're arils, and they're found, by the hundreds, inside the...

POMEGRANATE: Oh, is that the very first fruit your mind went to, when you began to think of the garden's gifts and the shortening of days? Good on you. For the pom, like the apple, pear, and pumpkin, is also a favorite as the air grows crisper, and while we don't carve them into jack o'lanterns, and finding a pomegranate cider is rare, they're still a timely snack this time of year. Which means that, yes, there is a festival in honor of this noble fruit, one that happens in Madera on the first Saturday of November. That's Nov. 2 in 2019, and a host of pom-loving people will show to nosh upon pomegranate-centered dishes, to buy a host of pomegranate-based products to cart home, and to purchase the seed-tastic superstar in its uncut, unmashed, straight from the tree's branches.

THERE'S A FOODIE ELEMENT... to the day, and, yep, it is billed as a festival for nuts and fruits, too, so prepare to jump into the bounty of fall's agricultural offerings. Consider that California is home to so many fruit festivals that some goodies rock more than one bash. In that spirit, why shouldn't the pom have its nutrition-amazing, flavor-rich day in the Madera sun? Admission, and parking, are free, which is as tasty as a perfectly plump, super-juicy aril.

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