For the overwhelming majority of Spaniards the fruit most associated with New Year's Eve are undoubtedly grapes. But for me, who for years have done without them when the clock strikes midnight, the iconic fruit for the night is the pomegranate.

It has nothing to do with the commemoration every Jan. 2 of the Catholic Monarchs' victorious entry into the city of Granada (the word means pomegranate in Spanish), though no one can deny me the fact that it's a fine coincidence. No. It just so happens that I've spent years serving my table that night with a salad whose basic ingredient is pomegranate seeds.

Pomegranates. Apparently we've been growing them for about 5,000 years. I must admit that some see the tree as more ornamental than fruit-bearing. Apparently there were pomegranates in the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. The pomegranate is mentioned several times in the Bible.

The pomegranate has the honor of appearing on the coats of arms of Spain - representing the Kingdom of Granada - and of Colombia, which was called New Granada during the viceroyalty, and, until 1858 as an independent republic. EFE