I've had POM Wonderful, sure, but I never knew what pomegranate juice could be until visiting Israel.
The fruits are piled high at every market and grocery store, and the plump red seeds are used widely in the kitchen. My favorite way to enjoy them, though, is at a juice stand, where they're sliced open, the halves popped into a juice press, and squeezed so that all the red juice streams out.
On its own, the deeply hued pomegranate juice is appealingly tart, with the slight woody taste of the seeds still in there; as an unabashed pomegranate lover, I liked it best this way, in its natural state. But if you're looking for something a little sweeter, they'll squeeze fresh oranges right on top, giving you a stunning two-tiered flush of color. Real pomegranate juice is such a novelty for me that I'll take it unadulterated, but found that I had to order a second cup with the orange—just because I got jealous of how gosh-darn pretty everyone else's drinks were.
Editor's note: Carey was on a culinary tour of Israel through Taste of Israel.