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The pomegranate was probably introduced to the Iberian Peninsula by the Arabs during their long stay in the region, although Stover & Mercure (2007) suggest that the Romans introduced this fruit tree to the region. However, contemporary Arabic writings and linguistic studies seem to confirm its provenance through the Arabs.
In Portugal, the name of the fruit of Punica granatum has a very different origin from other European countries, even Spain, where the name of the pomegranate comes from the Roman word 'mala granata'. In Portugal, the word 'pomegranate' comes from the Arabic 'rumman', with roots in the ancient Semitic language, from which the word 'rimmon' used by the Jews also derived. However, the inhabitants of the south of the peninsula did not have much appreciation for the Jews, who had settled in the territory since the 16th century. VI, having adopted a few words of Hebrew origin.

In the Algarve, a single variety predominates, 'Assaria', which is apparently the only name known in Portugal to describe a variety of pomegranate. Other pomegranate trees in the region are known by the name of 'granitentas', due to the prominent pit. According to Alves (2013), in his 'Dicionário de Arabismos da Língua Portuguesa' the word 'assaria' when used as a noun means 'variety of pomegranate with fleshy and juicy berries', with the synonyms 'asseria', 'saria' and 'seria ', while 'assario' would be an adjective with the meaning of large and applied to large broad beans and pomegranates, thick cabbages and a variety of vine typical of southern Portugal, abundantly referred to in writings from the 15th to the 19th centuries, due to the quality of the your raisin.

The fruits of 'Assaria' are large, light yellow in color, with overlapping color in spots, or streaked with pink or red, with large, sweet, red berries. The seeds (stones) are tender.

There are great similarities between the 'Assaria' and 'Molar d'Elche' varieties (shape and color of the fruit, size and color of the berry) but also differences, just as there are small differences between different trees of 'Assaria' in the Algarve (size of the berry, ease of de-baging, fruit size), probably indicating a common past.

DRAP Algarve has 78 pomegranate accessions in collection at CEAT, most of the ‘Assaria’ type.

Romãzeira Assaria (Algarve)

SKU: P1830
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