What Is Pomegranate Molasses?
Pomegranate molasses is essentially concentrated pomegranate juice that has a thick, molasses-like consistency. Most recipes I've found for it add sugar and lemon juice, but the bottle I bought at the Middle Eastern grocery near me (it was next to the rosewater) contained only pomegranate juice as an ingredient.
In terms of taste, pomegranate molasses is sweet and tart (like the fruit it comes from). It is surprisingly dark in color - more brown than magenta. Apparently it keeps nearly forever in the refrigerator. Its classical use is in Middle Eastern cuisine, particularly fesenjan, a thick Persian stew made from pomegranate molasses, ground walnuts, and (usually) chicken.
There are, however, a great many uses for it. I've only had a bottle for a few weeks, and I have already used it in a variety of marinades, braises, and vinaigrettes. I've found that despite its thick consistency it dilutes very readily. Last night, I made a salad of cubed cucumbers, tomatoes, vidalia onions, radishes, and cilantro dressed with a mix of rice vinegar, pomegranate molasses, and kosher salt. It made me very happy.
Rumor has it that you can also dilute the stuff to make a lovely pomegranate drink. It would almost certainly make for a good cocktail additive: a less-sweet grenadine?