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 non-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.