Pomegranates (melograni in Italian) are in season. Scholars believe that the fruit was brought to Sicily by both the Phoenicians and the Greeks, not only for food, but also for religious reasons. Pomegranate seeds represent fertility, prosperity, abundance, and generosity. And because of the Persephone myth–when the maiden daughter of the goddess Demeter eats the seeds that Hades, the god of the underworld, fed her, signifying her acceptance of him as her husband–they also represent the cycle of life and death, for as a result of her “agreement,” she is condemned to half the year in the underworld with her husband (autumn and winter) and half the year in the upper world with her mother (spring and summer). So, when Persephone goes to the underworld, she brings the seeds with her into the depths of the Earth, and when she returns to the surface with seeds in hand in spring, she brings abundance and life.