The fruits of war

From Jalalagood, my friend Peretz’s kickass Afghanistan travel blog, which you should definitely be reading.

Two representative symbols of Afghanistan, grenades and pomegranates, come from the same etymological root. We discovered yesterday that the word “grenade” is taken from the French “pome-grenate.” French soldiers gave the handheld explosives their name because they looked like the seeded fruits, both in their round shape topped with a crown, and in their inner workings consisting of lots of small seeds, prepped for activation.  We keep a stock of both at the Taj.

Last summer, I ate pomegranates from trees in Kabul whenever I got the chance. My friends found this disgusting. “But…those are urban pomegranates!” the Citizen Reporter exclaimed. “Their roots extend into the sewer drains.”

I shrugged and popped more tart, blood-colored seeds into my mouth.

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