Almost two months ago at the grocery store, Alex picked up one of those mysterious pomegranates. Intrigued, he brought it home, with the best intentions to eat it. Having never eaten the actual fruit before, but having enjoyed its juice in things like Izze Pomegranate Soda, we thought it would be a delectable treat. But, somehow, it got lost in the shuffle, and I ended up tossing it. Alex even forgot he had bought one, in fact, until the next time we were at the store together and walked by a larger display of pomegranates.
“Hey,” he said to me, “whatever happened to our last pomegranate?”
“You never ate it. I had to toss it,” I replied.
Alex decided he wanted to try again, and assured me that he really would eat it this time. One week later, it still hadn’t been eaten, so I showed him what I thought would be an exciting motivator for him. As Stay at Stove Dad explains, eating a pomegranate is a kind of a puzzle. Alex loves those visuo-spatial mind-logic puzzles, so I tried to appeal to the engineering side of his brain.
But then he went out of town. Another pomegranate down for the count.
(At this point, you may be wondering why I didn’t just work on it myself. Truth be told, I really wanted this to be Alex’s project, since he picked it out.)
Third time’s a charm though, or so they say. And this time we picked up a little “Easy Open” guide that explained how to open and eat this elusive fruit.
First, you have to cut off the top–the part with the “outie” belly button. Next, section the fruit from top to bottom following the lines of the sections you see in the fruit.
After that, you should have anywhere from 4-6 sections that you can just sort of split apart into a starfish-like pod of “arils” which apparently is the term for pomegranate seeds (which is the part of the fruit you eat). Frankly, to me, it looks like ruby red fish eggs clinging on for dear life.
At this point, you might just start plucking off the arils and eating them, as we did. But if you’re using them in a recipe or saving them for later use, you’ll want to separate them from their white membranes by pulling them gently into a bowl of water. From here you can simply skim the white membrane off the surface of the water (they float) and drain off the arils (they sink) and keep in a covered container in the fridge for about a week.
Well, at least we know how to open one of these babies up now. And you do too! But tell us, if you’ve been able to save any pomegranate seeds before gobbling them up by the handful, what have you made with them? Garnished your salads? Juiced into a vinaigrette? I’m curious about the culinary possibilities this interesting fruit provides. Leave a comment and share your pomegranate parables or tell us about a food that it took you three (or more) tries to finally consume!