Why You Should Be Cooking With Pomegranate Molasses, According To Jeremy Scheck - Exclusive

Jeremy Scheck might be known for his mega-popular TikTok channel, ScheckEats, or his new book, "ScheckEats — Cooking Smarter: Friendly Recipes with a Side of Science" — but that doesn't mean his food is extravagant. Scheck's cooking philosophy centers on using everyday ingredients to create exceptional culinary delights. The majority of his recipes can be made with pantry staples, which is an intentional choice designed to make his dishes accessible and available to a mainstream audience. While Scheck primarily relies on those everyday staples in his home cooking, there are two lesser-known ingredients he believes are worthy of our attention: Calabrian chili paste and pomegranate molasses. The former is described by Scheck as "funky and spicy and a little sour" whereas the latter is "sweet and sour."

In an exclusive interview with Tasting Table, Jeremy Scheck told us about the magic that is pomegranate molasses, particularly the multitude of ways folks can cook with it, including in cocktails and poultry marinades. While you may be hesitant to purchase pomegranate molasses thinking it's a single-use ingredient, fear not — Scheck has a plan. "Any time I ask for a [special ingredient], I'm going to give you multiple things [to use it for], because my pet peeve is when you're asked to buy a certain ingredient for a recipe and then you're stuck with half of the bottle or jar afterward because you don't know how to use the rest of it," he said.

The tangy sweetness of pomegranate molasses

So what is pomegranate molasses? "Pomegranate molasses is really popular in Middle Eastern, and, especially, Persian cuisine," Jeremy Scheck explained. "It's basically concentrated pomegranate juice. Sometimes, it might have a little bit of added sugar or lemon juice, but it's basically the texture of a balsamic glaze, with a pretty sour and a little bit of sweet pomegranate flavor." The nuance of that flavor, the bright sweetness, and the tangy sourness add a great deal of dimension to any dish it's a part of. "It is such a versatile ingredient. You could also use it in cocktails."

In "ScheckEats — Cooking Smarter," Scheck shares a recipe for Pomegranate Molasses Glazed Salmon as well as a generic marinade. "There's a whole page [in the book] just on marinades," he said. "I use [pomegranate molasses] in a salad dressing. It goes with literally everything, because you always need something a little bit sour to lighten things up and to have that acidity and balance. It's one of my favorite ingredients."

Pomegranate molasses is currently available for purchase at Whole Foods and Wegmans, and it can also be procured online or at your local Middle Eastern grocery store. As promised, if you purchase some, you'll find significant use for it, as Scheck has many recipes that call for the specialty ingredient. 

For recipes featuring pomegranate molasses and more, check out "ScheckEats — Cooking Smarter," which is now available for purchase here. To learn more about Jeremy Scheck and ScheckEats, visit Instagram and TikTok.