A non-idiot’s guide to open a pomegranate

Ah, the beautiful and sweet pomegranate! How exotic, how different and unlike any other fruit! And yet, in my opinion, the pomegranate is a bit of an underdog of the world of fruit! And I LOVE fruit!

I first saw a pomegranate back in ‘85 or ’86 when my father worked in Algiers and sent us a few. Back then my family and I lived in communist Romania where besides the apples, grapes and pears that one would grow there wasn’t much other fruit available. Not oranges, or bananas and definitely no pomegranates. So I remember my mom, my brother and I not really knowing what to do with it or, most importantly, how to even open it and properly scoop the seeds. My mom may contradict me on this but I think we ended up throwing them away. Fast forward to present days, I have a new found love for the pomegranate. It is said that the juice of a pomegranate is the most potent of all when it comes to antioxidants. That seems to sink in with the health conscious people, particularly in a state like California.  

And while some people have substituted their morning orange juice (OJ) with the pomegranate juice (PJ) I took baby steps and I started by replacing my OJ with PJ in my mimosas. Oh Em Gee, champagne + PJ = total deliciousness!

Anyways, my point is that while we all seem to acknowledge the benefits of the pomegranate I have yet to see anyone buy the actual fruit in the store. Me included. Somehow the fruit screams hard work so we all tend to just buy a bottle of the PJ rather than dealing with the fruit itself. But just the other day I saw a brochure next to the pomegranate bin in the store and I felt inspired. In all honesty I felt like an idiot in my kitchen cutting a fruit with the help of a 6-step printed brochure but I have to say that now I’m sold on the technique! It was just as easy as they said it would be. And by that I mean that there is a secret to it: you must serrate the fruit exactly on the 4-6 sections of white membrane you will see after you cut the top off. After that it’s smooth sailing. I mean it’s tedious and a little time consuming (and one pomegranate will merely give you a cup and ½) but the fresh juice is soooo delicious!!

And because I felt like an idiot for needing instructions to eat the fruit I did some research and I found that POM Wonderful actually has an online video for how to open it: Pomegranate 101. That made me feel a lo better! If they felt they needed to invest in this video production it must mean there’s other idiots out there who just like me need instructions.

POM’s video (which you can find at http://www.pomwonderful.com/how-to-open-a-pomegranate/#) actually shows you the process by submerging the fruit in water. I think that the printed brochure was much easier. And cleaner. So keep your eyes out for this brochure in the store – typically it will be on the side of the pomegranate bin in the produce section (minus the pumpkins:)

And if you decide to give the fruit a chance, remember this:

How to select: Pick the fruit with a bright color and blemish-free skin. You know the fruit is ripe if it makes a metallic sound when tapped.

How to store: Pomegranates actually improve during storage, becoming juicier and more flavorful. You can refrigerate them for up to 2 months or store in a cool, dark place for up to 1 month.

And that’s all I got on the pomegranate, kids! Let me know if this changes the way you consume pomegranate.


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