Pomegranate Central: Yettem, CA
I thought I would go back to my roots and show a few pictures of Yettem, California. Yettem is a small town just south of the Fresno County line in Tulare County, 11 miles north of Visalia. The town is so small that chances are it will not show up on your GPS—it is generally considered to be part of Cutler. Yettem was founded by Armenian immigrants over 100 years ago. Many Armenians have left the town, but some still work in the citrus and pomegranate orchards, and St. Mary’s Church still serves the community. One of their legacies is the pomegranate orchards in this region. Pomegranates are one of the world’s oldest fruits, woven with a rich legacy of myths and of course, timeless recipes. I drove through Yettem last January, taking a detour along state route CA-201. I was struck by the fruit falling on the ground, the silence except for the occasional passing truck, and the beauty of the pomegranates still hanging from the dormant trees. In this age of a globalized food supply, it is easy to forget where our food comes from. Driving through Yettem’s understated beauty, it is a shame that we do not visit the sources of our food more often. I figured these pictures would be a fitting tribute to my grandmother, who emigrated from Armenia in the 1930s—she would have been 105 years old on Tuesday. By the way, any foodie should have a bottle of pomegranate molasses in their pantry. It does wonders for stews and meats! I also posted this on my personal site, The Attache. For simplicity, I keep the descriptions brief--just mouse over the pics for a quick description.