My neighborhood supermarket finally got a shipment of pomegranates and placed them on display. I purchased a couple of them because I haven’t tasted the fruit since last year. At the checkout lane, the clerk asked me how to eat them. He said he felt slightly intimidated by the things.
I gave him some sketchy instructions, but he didn’t seem convinced that he was going to follow through. I then said I’d blog about pomegranate preparation. He’s welcome to follow along. He smiled and wished me a good day.
Unlike most fruits, pomegranates require more preparation than just rinse and eat. There are techniques needed to obtain the juicy little seeds. The seeds are the only portion of the fruit you actually eat.
You need to have some basic equipment handy to prepare the fruit. A sharp knife, a large spoon, a glass bowl, and a colander or strainer.
Slice off the ends of the pomegranate. Some experts recommend an inch. I think half an inch or 1.2 milimetres is plenty.
Cut five or six longitudinal divisions into the pomegranate being careful to only press the knife blade into the rind and not into the seeds.
Carefully pull apart the segments. You can either do this on the countertop or inside the water filled bowl. I like the countertop so I can collect any small amount of juice. The red juice can permanently stain whatever it soaks into, so protect your cutting board if you use one. Wear an apron if you wish, too.
Place the segments into the bowl of water and allow them to soak for five minutes or so. Then nudge the juicy seeds away from the inedible pith or membrane. The seeds will settle on the bottom and the pith will float to the top. Examine each bunch of pith to find hidden clusters of seeds.
Skim off the pith to discard or compost it with the rind. The smallest pieces of pith can be floated out of the bowl by slightly tipping the bowl while slowly running cold water from the tap into the bowl in your sink.
Strain the seeds from the water with the colander or strainer.
Place the seeds into an attractive dish to show off your efforts. Then enjoy the healthful nuggets. They have a nutty, sweet-tart juicy feel and taste. I like mine as a topping in yoghurt, stirred into prepared rice or couscous, or sprinkled onto my cold cereal.
You could press or crush the seeds in a sieve or food mill to extract the juices. Strain the liquid through netting or cheesecloth to filter out the fibers.
The Blue Jay of Happiness now understands why pomegranate juice is so costly.