What is a pomegranate?
Pomegranate (in my humble opinion) is perhaps one of the most exciting fruits out there from a flavor, texture, and visual standpoint. This reddish, purplish, brownish-colored fruit is round in shape and similar to the size of a navel orange. They are native to the Middle East, the Mediterranean, as well as Asia.
These lovely gems are a winter fruit and some find it hard to know when they are ripe. The dead giveaway here is the skin. When they are ready to be eaten, the skin will be hard, bright, and most importantly, shiny.
When you cut into a pomegranate you, you will see white fleshy bits know as the mesocarp which surrounds clusters of the seeds or flesh. These individual seeds are surrounded by a covering known as an aril.
The aril is roughly the size of a small kernel of corn and is made up of a skin that is holding juice around the seed. The whole package is edible. The skin and the mesocarp, however, is not.
Best ways to eat pomegrante:
- Score the pomegranate along the mid-line being careful not to cut too deep.
- Twist the two halves apart like you do when you are opening an avocado.
- Working one half at a time, gently start to spread the white part away just a bit using your thumbs. You are nudging things open here versus pulling things apart.
- Grab a bowl. Flip one half in your hand so the seeds are facing your palm and with a wooden spoon begin to tap the back (skin side) of the pomegranate. The seeds should start falling away in the bowl.
- Turn often as it will help encourage the seeds out of the fruit. As you get to the last of the seeds, you may need to help them out with your fingers.
- When all the seeds are out, discard the shell of the fruit and any white bits that may have fallen out along the way into the bowl.
- Repeat on the other half.
- Rinse the seeds in cold water if there are still any white bits clinging to them.
Recipes that use pomegranates: