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The tour of the POM Wonderful orchards was amazing.  Rows and rows of POM Wonderful trees as far as the eye can see!

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When I stepped out of the van, I was immediately struck with how colorful the trees were.  They reminded me of Christmas trees with the POM fruit as red balls!

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Brad, the Vice President/General Manager of Produce, gave us a short tour and discussed how they harvest the fruit and when.  Each tree has fruit that ripens at various times, so the pickers must be careful to pick fruits that are ripe.  Some of the fruit can be picked for use as a fruit, others fruit is chosen to be juiced.

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Brad cut open a few fruits for us to enjoy on the spot.

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We spent about an hour just wandering around, picking fruits, and eating POM seeds.  I had trouble finding fruits that I liked, but Brad told me to look for dark red ones that weren’t sun burnt (the skin gets dry and crackly, and then the seeds lighten on the inside).

 

Eventually, I found a few fruits – my purse is quite heavy now!

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The POM people are really nice, knowledge, and love their product. 

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Tips from the POM folk about how to cut a POM fruit:

 

  • Cut off the crown so you can see the white membranes that separate each section of seeds (also known as arils). 
  • Lightly cut the white membranes.
  • Put the fruit in a pot under water and pull apart the sections, releasing the yummy arils.  Keeping the fruit under water will prevent the juice from spraying you in the face and getting it all over your hands.
  • Eat and enjoy!

 

After the tour, we drove to our new hotel for the night, and I realized I left my computer cord in the first hotel! Grrr.  Luckily, one of the bloggers loaned me his cord so I could charge up, and we’re swinging back to grab my cord in the morning.  I’m such a dofus sometimes.

 

I took advantage of my no-Internet state to browse the town of Visalia.

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It is a cute town!  The downtown is tiny, but it’s quaint, sweet, and appeals to the urban planner in me.  :)  Plus, I found a juice bar:

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I got a carrot + green apple juice.  It was fresh and lovely!

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Then, I went into a camera shop and stared at the SLR cameras in envy.  They are so beautiful.  I want one so badly.  The Husband said that Santa might get me one.  :)  I hope Santa delivers presents in October. 

 

I spent the rest of our down time relaxing in my hotel room and chatting with the Husband.  I snacked on some cereal that I “borrowed” from the breakfast bar:

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And then I met Eric and Tina downstairs in the lobby for a glass of wine.  There is something about traveling that just makes me want to drink wine.  Maybe it’s the stress of living out of a suitcase?

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We headed upstairs to a conference room to hear Janel, a registered dietitian, give a really interesting presentation on anti-aging and antioxidants.

 

Some of Janel’s tips:

 

  • Avoid:  saturated fats, trans fat, non-whole grains.
  • Enjoy:  fresh fruits and veggies (7 – 9 servings a day), lean meats, dairy, POM Wonderful juice, and other antioxidant-rich natural foods.
  • It’s better to get your antioxidants from natural sources than food-like products or beauty products created in a laboratory.
  • Heat breaks down some antioxidants, but cooking also can make some antioxidants stronger.  For example, tomatoes are actually better for you when they are cooked.

 

I like Janel a lot.  :)

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Then it was time for dinner at this AMAZING restaurant called The Vintage Press.  I would’ve come hungrier had I known I was about to consume a FEAST of goodness.

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On the menu was the following delicious items, which were served by kind and attentive waiters/waitress and a very nice head chef:

 

Cold vegetarian kebobs:

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Warm, squishy bread:

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Feta-stuffed pastries:

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Apricots topped with cream cheese, pistachios, and pecans.  I had 1!

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A vodka and POM Wonderful “Pom-tini”:

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…Which was GREAT!

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After our appetizers and drinks, the first course came out.  It was a Wild Mushroom in Puffy Pastry with Shimeja mushrooms, shallots, cognac, tarragon, and cream.  Amazing.  The mushrooms were meaty and chew-y.

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Course #2 was a salad with pistachios, grapes, feta, and other foodies:

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The vegetarian entree was Quinoa and Cous Cous with Fall vegetable ragout and pomegranate arils:

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The best part, obviously, was the tiny pumpkin stuffed with Swiss cheese and squash!  I want to make this at home!

 

I SOMEHOW managed to fit in dessert.  I only had a few bites of the entree, but of course I was magically hungry again when dessert came.  It was a Golden Chocolate Pyramid with Espresso Creme Anglaise.

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I am FULL!

 

It’s so late – 11 PM in California, but 2 AM to my body.  Tomorrow is the last day in California.  We’re going to the POM Wonderful plant to see how the juice is made, and then I’m hopping on a flight back to Florida.

 

I miss my Husband and doggies!  :) 

{ 62 comments }

 

Leave a Comment

  • Tina October 21, 2009, 2:20 am

    I have issues.

    Reply
  • Diana October 21, 2009, 2:50 am

    Ahaha Tinas’ face :P
    That food looks so yummy :)

    We actually have some pomegranate trees in our property in the south of Portugal! We aren’t there to take care of them though so we never get to eat the fruit. But I did more than once when I was little :)

    Reply
  • emily October 21, 2009, 3:03 am

    Gaaaah, that all looks so yummy! Glad you are having a good time!

    Reply
  • Ellen October 21, 2009, 3:32 am

    that “cous cous” actually looks like quinoa! cool. i’m sometimes amazed by the portion sizes of multi-course meals in the states… that’s a lot of food if you add it all up! it all looks fantastic though. tina’s face is priceliess!

    Reply
    • caitlin October 21, 2009, 9:32 am

      the pile in the front is quinoa and in the back is cous cous.

      yea the portions were ridiculous!

      Reply
  • Emily Eats October 21, 2009, 3:59 am

    Great recap – thanks so much for sharing those tips! Loved that photo of Tina too :)

    Reply
  • Sue October 21, 2009, 5:12 am

    OMG Caitlin – that piccie of you holding the two pomegranates should SO be your Christmas Card this year!! Gorgeous pics x

    Reply
  • Cindy October 21, 2009, 5:22 am

    Have a safe journey home. That meal certainly looked delicious. :)

    Reply
  • Shannon October 21, 2009, 6:26 am

    What an experience! The flight…the food…the company! Looks great!

    Reply
  • Jessica @ How Sweet It Is October 21, 2009, 6:53 am

    I am dying your the feta stuffed pastries and is that a mini pumpkin on your plate??!

    Reply
  • Jessie (Vegan-minded) October 21, 2009, 7:11 am

    Great photos! It looks like a really fun time so far. That meal was incredible, especially the cute mini pumpkin. Have a safe trip home :)

    Reply
  • Emily Eats and Exercises October 21, 2009, 7:28 am

    Looks like a really wonderful dinner! I’m excited for you to try making that mini-pumpkin dish at home – maybe I’ll have to follow suit.

    Reply
  • Stacey October 21, 2009, 7:45 am

    Haha. I love Tina’s face in that one pic lol :) Glad you are having a good time! Those POM-tini’s look delicious!

    Reply
  • Allison (Balance in Bites) October 21, 2009, 7:46 am

    This is a totally random comment, but I LOVE your hair color. It looks so pretty there in the sun!

    Reply
  • Paige (Running Around Normal) October 21, 2009, 7:47 am

    Wow what a HUGE feast! Everything looks awesome. The vegetarian options are fabulous. Looks like everyone is enjoying themselves. That picture of Tina cracked me up! LOL

    Reply
  • Brie (The Fit Bride) October 21, 2009, 8:01 am

    That dinner looks fabulous!

    Reply
  • Felicia October 21, 2009, 8:03 am

    That meal looks truly amazing! I actually said “wow” audibly as I looked at the pictures, and yeah, I’m sitting alone at the moment, so I’m clearly impressed. :)

    Reply
  • Susan October 21, 2009, 8:06 am

    I love how they sprinkle the pomegranate arils on everything :) Thanks for the cutting tips too – putting it in water is a great idea!

    Reply
  • Angie (Losing It and Loving It) October 21, 2009, 8:09 am

    Oh my Tina’s face made me laugh.

    Dinner looks like it was fabulous. Sounds like a great experience so far. Have a safe trip home!

    And I hope Santa comes early with a new camera!

    Reply
  • Sara October 21, 2009, 8:13 am

    Wow! What an amazing dinner! looks awesome!1

    Reply
  • Jac October 21, 2009, 8:26 am

    food looks delish!!! the pumpkin is adorable! lol..

    Reply
  • Brynne October 21, 2009, 8:39 am

    That tiny pumpkin is so cute! It’s like the new breadbowl …

    Reply
  • Morgan October 21, 2009, 8:58 am

    Everything about that meal looks amazing. Love the pumpkin and the apricots! Have a safe trip home.

    Reply
  • Danielle October 21, 2009, 9:12 am

    Oh my gosh, you are living the dream! Everything looks amazing!

    Reply
  • Carolyn October 21, 2009, 9:14 am

    That dinner looks fantastic!

    Reply
  • RhodeyGirl October 21, 2009, 9:17 am

    what a wonderful meal! Pomegranates are amazing I love them.

    Reply
  • brandi October 21, 2009, 9:19 am

    wow, what a feast! That pumpkin is so cute :)

    Glad you’re having a good time! The orchards are beautiful

    Reply
  • Runeatrepeat October 21, 2009, 9:20 am

    It looks like so much fun and beauty!

    Reply
  • Rachel October 21, 2009, 9:25 am

    What a fun day! I love Tina’s face in that picture hahaha

    Reply
  • Stephanie October 21, 2009, 9:26 am

    that tiny pumpkin is soooo cute, what a beautiful way to serve!!

    Reply
  • Jenna October 21, 2009, 9:30 am

    you mean you think it is 2AM not pm, haha!
    wow! i thought the appetizers were the meals, but your meals actually came after that! looks all so good. love the idea of the stuffed pumpkin, you must make that!
    jenna

    Reply
  • Tina October 21, 2009, 9:38 am

    The pomegranate pictures are all gorgeous! And I love that little pumpkin. I want to try something like that too!

    Reply
  • Tammy October 21, 2009, 9:44 am

    The food looks absolutely delicious! And POMS are so beautiful! My dad lives in California and he has a POM tree in his yard…lucky!

    Reply
  • Rose October 21, 2009, 9:57 am

    I’m loving following the trip! Looks like fun :)

    Reply
  • Evan Thomas October 21, 2009, 10:03 am

    I love those tips from Janel! All great
    Pom chose the best bloggers for this trip–the pics are amazing!

    Reply
  • Beth @ DiningAndDishing October 21, 2009, 10:04 am

    Oh my, that dinner looks fantastic!! I want to try one of those stuffed pumpkin dishes so bad – they always look so yummy!

    Reply
  • skinnyrunner October 21, 2009, 10:07 am

    that meal looks amazing! i love the little pumpkins and pomtinis! yum.

    Reply
  • Karla October 21, 2009, 10:14 am

    Oh my gosh Caitlin, that dinner looks fantastic!!!

    Reply
  • Lauren October 21, 2009, 10:21 am

    You look lovely!

    How come they’re called “POM fruits”?

    Reply
    • caitlin October 21, 2009, 10:41 am

      i think thats just what i’ve been calling them LOL

      Reply
  • Cynthia (It All Changes) October 21, 2009, 10:39 am

    I can’t believe all that food. I would be stuffed to the gills. But it all looks divine.

    I love the tips on how to open a POM. I always hated getting sprayed as a kid but htat never stopped me from eating them.

    Reply
  • Gwen October 21, 2009, 10:43 am

    WOW! That dinner looks DELISH! Sounds like a GREAT trip thus far!

    Reply
  • Julie @ Peanut Butter Fingers October 21, 2009, 10:47 am

    what a mouth watering dinner. such a cute lil’ pumpkin! i loooove it. it’s amazing what presentation can do.

    Reply
  • BethT October 21, 2009, 10:48 am

    It all looks delish, but especially those apricots!! I loved apricots and that sounds smashing.

    Reply
  • alli October 21, 2009, 10:54 am

    thanks for the tips on how to cut a pomegranate! i just bought one on saturday and just hacked right down the middle of it. needless to say i have a shirt i need to scrub some stains out of ;)

    the dinner looks fabulous, and that pumpkin is so cute! :)

    Reply
  • Chelsea (Chelsea's Chew and Run Fun) October 21, 2009, 10:59 am

    Those courses look so glamorous and delicious! Fall harvests make for such pretty food.

    Reply
  • Lauren October 21, 2009, 11:03 am

    Looks like so much fun! The vegetarian entree was so cool and inspired; I love it! The pumpkin was a very cute (and yummy, from the sound of it) inclusion :)

    Reply
  • Anne Marie@ New Weigh of Life October 21, 2009, 11:10 am

    I love the tree-it’s so pretty!

    Reply
  • Laura @ Backstage Pass to Health & Happiness October 21, 2009, 12:01 pm

    What a delicious dinner! The pumpkin stuffed with swiss and squash looks yummmmmmmy!

    Reply
  • Jolene (www.everydayfoodie.ca) October 21, 2009, 12:16 pm

    That mushroom dish looks like all kinds of wonderful!

    Reply
  • lisa October 21, 2009, 2:06 pm

    Looks like it was a fantastic experience all around! Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  • 4shley (FitBits) October 21, 2009, 2:12 pm

    Wow, that food is just gorgeous! MMmmm!

    Reply
  • Morgan October 21, 2009, 2:14 pm

    Although I am not a RD, however, I am pretty educated when it comes to food and nutrition due to my 7 million biology and chemistry classes. I must disagree with Janel and her avoiding ALL saturated fats.
    I wrote about it a few months back (which I attached the link).

    There are 2 types of saturated fats, long and medium chain;
    Animal source versus Plant source. If you avoid things like sirloin and 2% milk and heavy cream, then you are doing yourself a favor and avoiding the long chain fats. If you ingest eggs, coconut, dark chocolate, salmon, cashews, (and more)you are taking in the good medium chains.

    Point being, research your food sources and fats. If not, you’re missing out on delicious and nutritious foods!

    Reply
  • Lauren October 21, 2009, 2:26 pm

    Pom picking looks like so much fun. And the whole trip looks incredible. Your vegetarian entree is to die for! Was it as good as it looks?

    Reply
  • Nicole (dishin') October 21, 2009, 5:00 pm

    Yum! Great food and looks like a great time!!

    Reply
  • Carolina John October 21, 2009, 5:10 pm

    I love POM! it’s really fantastic stuff. glad you got to see the orchard.

    Reply
  • Becka @Studio222 Photography October 22, 2009, 5:55 pm

    How did you get to go on this awesome trip? Was there a contest?

    Reply
    • Caitlin October 22, 2009, 6:12 pm

      The POM Wonderful Team selected 15 bloggers who they had worked with in the past :)

      Reply

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