or, stuff that I dragged out of my head

Location: Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Red Hot, Part 2

I am sorry to have to disagree with a reader, but I don't have any choice in this instance. This is nothing personal, but I very much like to get things right.

Peggy wrote, in response to yesterday's posting about the word "garnet":

However I have to make a correction on this posting. Pomegranate is called grenade in French. Grenadine juice or syrup is made from a different fruit: grenadine (spelled same way in English and French). Grenadine has a totally different taste than grenade and probably got its name because it's full of seeds inside also, but smaller.

"Pomegranate" is indeed "grenade" in French: the explosive device got its name from the French word because of a perceived similarity in shape. However, grenadine is, in fact, made from pomegranates. I can't even find any reference on the Internet to a fruit called a grenadine. The OED doesn't mention it: its listing under "grenadine" is "a syrup made from pomegranates (or other fruit)", a reference to the fact that grenadine syrup nowadays can be made of other fruit juices and coloured red, or even be made artificially with no fruit at all, but there's no listing for a fruit called a grenadine, which strongly suggests that, even if the word "grenadine" referring to a fruit exists in French, it doesn't in English. (I can't even find any French pages that list the fruit.)

Here's a dictionary definition of "grenadine", which says it's made of pomegranate juice concentrate and sugar. Here's a recipe for grenadine, made with pomegranates and honey. Here's another, made with sugar, but still pomegranates. (For good measure, here's a French page with a recipe for "sirop de grenadine", using, yes, grenades, and here's another that flat-out says "Le sirop de grenadine est tiré des pommes grenades", which is to say, "Grenadine syrup is made from [literally 'pulled from'] pomegranates", using the full name "pommes grenades" that led to the English "pomegranate".) Here's a page all about pomegranates and what to do with them, including the manufacture of grenadine. And here's a page about the Grenadine Islands and their relationship to pomegranates.

None of this is conclusive proof, I suppose, and for all I know there might well be a fruit called a grenadine: but the fact remains that grenadine syrup has been and still is made with pomegranates.


Blogger Peggy said...

I don't get a chance to check your blog regularly. I notice you've already written three other postings since dedicating this one to correct me. Hope you'll still sccroll down to read my comments.

You're right about grenadine juice being made from pomegranates. The fruit I mentioned as grenadine is actually called grenadille, passion fruit in English. My confusion comes from the fact that grenadille is sometimes called grenadine in some islands. Check this site: http://perso.wanadoo.fr/association.fruits.oublies/contrib/passiflo/passiflora2.html

That is why I assumed grenadine would be the juice from the grenadine fruit. You can find more details on the fruit if you do a search on grenadille. Hope that helps to clarify things.

Saturday, April 08, 2006 7:18:00 PM  

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