A Seasonal Treat: Pomegranite

Look at those gorgeous seeds!

Look at those gorgeous seeds!

Pomegranates are one of the few foods that still seem to only be available for a short time of the year here in Portland, and they’re imported from California or further away. Granted, the season we can get them has been extended from a couple weeks in December out into November through January, but I still consider them a special winter treat.

Whole Pomegranite

Whole Pomegranate – this one was pretty good, but one with darker skin would have been better

You want to choose dark red, large, leathery fruits that are heavy for their size. This one should have been a bit darker but otherwise was fine.
They’ve always seemed a little mysterious to me. Of course there was the story of Persephone’s abduction and marriage to Hades. But on a more practical level, I could never figure out how to best get to the seeds inside. As a teenager I’d buy them at lunch and peel them, but that was messy and awkward. At home I’d cut them in half, but juice would get everywhere. Finally, I know the secret!

To open your pomegranate, score the bottom end of the pomegranate in an X – all the way through the skin but not into the seeds.

Scoring the pomegranite

Scoring the pomegranate

Then pull it apart from the center of the X. It’ll break right open! Pull the paper back and enjoy the juicy little gems. As a kid I used to crunch right into the seeds, but now I avoid them. I just spit them out.

It breaks right open

It breaks right open

Many people prefer to juice pomegranates. You can do it by hand in a food mill or blend and strain them. If you don’t want the seeds to be broken at all when you juice, you can cook the seeds in water and then strain them out.

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