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Year in Review

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They come in all colours, shapes and sizes, with different aromas and flavours. They are often eaten fresh, without the need to be cooked. Many exist all year round and others only in certain seasons, but they all have one thing in common: they are nutritious. We are, of course, talking about fruit and vegetables, foods that are essential to a balanced and healthy diet.

They often start as a small seed that grows until they are ready for us to eat. Many fruits and vegetables are locally produced, ensuring increased freshness and a smaller ecological footprint associated with transportation. Learn about the history and properties of the foods that illustrate our 2021 Year in Review. 

The pomegranate

The pomegranate is one of the oldest known fruits. The seeds of the pomegranate are like small berries and can be eaten individually, one after the other. The pomegranate tree – deciduous shrub – was cultivated on the Asian continent, in regions where Iran and Afghanistan are now located, as far back as 4000 BC. Later, the pomegranate expanded throughout the Mediterranean and was brought to the Americas by the Portuguese and Spanish. It is now produced in more than 100 countries.

Because it has many seeds, the pomegranate has always been considered a symbol of abundance and prosperity, but its greatest asset is its medicinal properties. Pomegranates are a source of vitamin C and B6, which, among other functions, contribute to the regular operation of the immune system and help reduce tiredness and fatigue. They can be eaten plain, made into juice, or used in desserts, sauces and savoury dishes.

The pomegranate is in season from October to December in the northern hemisphere.

The apple

Yellow, green, red and even black are just some of the colourful and varied undertones of apples. They are one of the most popular fruits globally, and there are over 7,500 varieties. The first apple trees appeared around 6500 BC in Western Asia and an eastern region of present-day Turkey, but today they are spread worldwide. Poland is European’s largest apple producer and the third-largest in the world.

An apple a day keeps the doctor away, say the people who base their wisdom on the extensive list of properties this fruit offers. Apples contain pectin, a soluble fibre that helps maintain normal blood cholesterol levels. For this to happen, you need 6 grams of pectin per day – and 100 grams of apple already provide an average of 3 grams of pectin.

Apples are a convenient food. They are the ideal snack at any time of the day and are easy to carry in a bag or rucksack. They can be eaten as they are, used in sweet recipes, puréed, roasted or cooked. But it is always best to eat apples raw, to benefit from all their properties.

The papaya

Originally from Central America, the papaya is an exotic fruit that only reached Europe in 1515 by Spanish navigators who landed in the Caribbean. Its orangey, juicy, sweet and fragrant inner pulp soon conquered the Old Continent.

Papaya can be eaten in slices – just like melons – but not without first removing the seeds from the stringy centre. The seeds themselves are edible and can be ground and used as a substitute for pepper or mustard as they have a spicy flavour.

Nutritionally, papayas are high in vitamin C and a source of vitamin A, both of which contribute to the normal function of the immune system. Papaya pulp has only 39 calories per 100 grams.

This tropical fruit can be eaten plain, and lemon or lime juice enhances its flavour. It is great for juices, smoothies, mousses, fruit salads, ice creams and cakes.

Green beans

This fresh legume belongs to the cowpea family, but unlike its “cousins”, it should be eaten while still young, not ripe. It is the best way to appreciate its delicate, slightly sweet, tender and not very fibrous flavour.

The green bean is native to tropical countries and was introduced in Europe in the 15th century by Spanish navigators returning from expeditions in Central America.

Green is the most common colour, although there are varieties in shades of purple and yellow. But the secret lies in the properties this legume offers. With only 25 calories per 100 grams, it is low in energy value, has vitamin K and folic acid, which contribute to normal blood coagulation, and manganese, an excellent antioxidant.

Although a summer “vegetable”, green beans are available all year round and can be eaten in soups, boiled, sautéed, breaded or au gratin.

What we did

Get to know the main performance indicators of the Group over the last year.

How we make a difference

We reinforced our role as responsible corporate citizens.

Message from the Chairman

Read the message of Pedro Soares dos Santos, Chairman of the Jerónimo Martins Group.

Download centre

For more detailed information, you can download the Group's Annual Report, in full or by chapter.