Pomegranate molasses is not actually molasses but rather a syrup made from the juice of sour pomegranates cooked down with a little salt and sometimes sugar. It’s tart, sweet, and acidic and can be used in place of vinegar or lemon. Making it is very labor intensive, but it preserves the abundant pomegranate crops throughout the Middle East. Unfortunately, there are many commercial brands that add too much sugar and coloring to offset the cost of labor and fruit.
This pantry gem brightens a rich stew after it has been braised all day and adds intensity and acidity to meze dishes. It makes a wonderful dressing for fattoush and a great glaze for roasted lamb or chicken. Store in a cool, dark pantry once it’s opened. My favorite brand, Mymouné, is made by a cooperative at the foot of Mount Sannine in Lebanon. It is available at some Middle Eastern specialty stores, sofrabakery.com, or mymoune.com.