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How Do I Choose the Best Pomegranate Molasses?

By Melanie Greenwood
Updated May 16, 2024
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Pomegranate molasses is a rich, thick syrup that is made from the concentrated juice of the pomegranate fruit. Suitable for both sweet applications such as topping ice cream and savory uses such as making glazes for meats, this molasses has grown in popularity. Not all pomegranate molasses is the same, however. You can choose the best by checking for thick viscosity, dark color, an even texture with no flecks and natural ingredients rather than chemical additives.

The first characteristic of quality pomegranate-based molasses is viscosity, or thickness. Like traditional sugarcane-based molasses, the best pomegranate-based molasses is thick and sticky. To gauge this, tilt the bottle. Good molasses should move slowly and coat the sides of the bottle. If it flows faster than honey or does not stick to the bottle, the packager might have diluted the pomegranate juice with less-expensive juices or water, which will negatively affect its flavor.

Good-quality pomegranate molasses will also be a deep, rich red — so red that it appears almost brown or even nearly black. This is because pomegranate juice naturally darkens in color as the processor cooks off its moisture. You shouldn't buy molasses that has a light red or pink color. Such molasses might actually be grenadine — a sweet syrup that is used in cocktails — or it might be too light because it has not been reduced enough to produce good flavor. Light red or pink pomegranate molasses might also have been mixed with other juices.

Another feature of the best pomegranate molasses is even, smooth texture. In their natural state, pomegranates consist of tough juice-containing seeds that are held in place by a membrane similar to the white pith in lemons or oranges. After juicing the fruits, a reputable processor will strain any errant pieces of seed or membrane out out of the juice. Take a close look at the molasses that you're thinking about buying. If you see any white or light-red flecks in pomegranate molasses, it's a sign of slipshod processing.

Finally, the best pomegranate molasses is free from artificial flavors, colors or preservatives. Quality pomegranate molasses typically contains nothing, in fact, but pomegranate juice, natural cane or beat sugar and sometimes lemon juice. Avoid brands that include corn syrup or flavoring in their ingredients. There is no need for chemical preservatives, either. Pomegranate juice is naturally acidic enough to keep unopened molasses from going bad at room temperature, although you should refrigerate it after it has been opened.

DelightedCooking is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By fBoyle — On Oct 11, 2013

@ankara-- Yes, you can use molasses including pomegranate molasses in beer. I've done that before, I used pomegranate molasses to add flavoring and some color to ale. I added it last, after fermenting the beer.

The results were quite good. Pomegranate molasses added a slightly sweet and sour flavor to the beer. But I recommend using molasses in mild tasting beer. Ale is perfect and allows the flavors to come through.

Also, make sure that you have good quality molasses, made with all natural pomegranates. I've heard that some brands make pomegranate molasses from sugar to keep the price low.

By bluedolphin — On Oct 10, 2013

I heard somewhere that pomegranate molasses can be used in beer brewing. Has anyone tried this? I love pomegranate juice and I think that beer made with pomegranate molasses would be delicious!

By SarahGen — On Oct 09, 2013

I'm from the Middle East and pomegranate molasses is very popular there. But the interesting thing is that it is never used for sweets, it's always used for salty foods.

My family uses pomegranate molasses in salad dressing. We use it in place of lemon juice or vinegar. We also use it when we make couscous salad and other vegetable dishes.

I like pomegranate molasses a lot, especially the organic kind. It's made with just fresh pomegranates. The seeds and juice boil for hours and turn into a syrup. I like the sweet and sour flavor of it.

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