November 27, 2012

PomWonderful: How to Open a Pomegranate

Recently pomegranates were on sale at the grocery store, so I grabbed a few. I got them home and they sat on my counter for a couple days, as I realized that I had no clue how to open them. Though my mom had done it a bunch of times when I was growing up, I had never really watched close enough to have any idea how you do it. I knew that based on the way a pomegranate is constructed, I couldn't just chop it in half and go from there. But how I would crack this delicious fruit open was way beyond me.

So I consulted the ever-helpful internet, and within seconds I found directions for opening a pomegranate on the PomWonderful website. Though it is an involved process, it is actually more simple than I figured it would be. Here is how you do it:

1. CUT: With a sharp knife, cut off the top and bottom of the pomegranate, just below the crown.

2. SCORE: Once the ends have been removed, approximately 4-6 sections of white membrane will be visible. Using the knife, score the skin along each section of membrane.

3. OPEN: Carefully pull each of the sections of the pomegranate apart, using the scored lines you just made. Break the pomegranate into a bowl of water, as this will ease in the separation of the seeds from the membrane {and reduce the amount of juice that squirts out}.

4. LOOSEN: Using your hands, gently loosen the seeds from the membrane. Allow the seeds to drop into the bottom of the bowl; the membrane will float.

5. SCOOP: Once all of the seeds have been separated from the membrane, use a spoon to scoop out all of the membrane that is floating on the top of the bowl.

6. STRAIN: Pour the remaining contents of the bowl {water and seeds} through a strainer to catch any remaining little bits of membrane. Allow the seeds to dry and enjoy.

Opening a pomegranate is certainly no easy task, but let me tell you, there was something kind of relaxing about it, in a strange kind of way. I guess perhaps it was the fact that I could easily do it while I was watching TV, and knowing that I was also doing something productive while watching TV is always a good thing. Also, knowing that my efforts would result in me having something delicious and healthy to snack on at work the next day was also a good feeling.

The next step in my pomegranate journey will be to find delicious recipes that incorporate these little seeds {which are officially called 'arils', FYI}. If you have any recipes or any ideas on how to incorporate these little bits into something already delicious, I would appreciate the feedback!

Photo Credit: Re-See

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