Pomegranates have always been one of my favorite fruit. I’m pretty sure I met somebody in college who had never heard of them, which was a shock to me, but I can’t remember who it was.
Pomegranates always remind me of fall, and of home. There are a couple tricks to carving a pomegranate neatly and efficiently. Fill a medium size mixing bowl or saucepan with cool water and set it aside. If you have latex gloves, your life will be easier.
1. Carve out the crown (like the stem of a pumpkin)
2. Feel the sides of the pomegranate. Notice how the curves are concave and convex. The soft part that dents in has no fruit, whereas the bulging part of the skin is rich with seeds.
3. Make small incisions in each of the indented rows of skin, starting at the crown, and wrapping down to the base. If you did it right, you won’t have broken any of the red seeds, you’ll just have sliced through the white pithy inner skin.
4. Take both thumbs and peel outwards, opening the pomegranate like a flower.
5. Remove each wedge from the base and set all the pieces aside.
Peeling a pomegranate under water has a few benefits. First, the white pith floats, and the seeds sink, making it easy to separate the waste from the part you’re keeping. Second, the water will wash away any sticky residue, as well as keeping the accidentally broken seeds from splashing or staining anything. Third, the water density helps roll the seeds away from the pith without much effort or broken fruit.
6. Peel one wedge at a time. You may want to put your bowl/pot into the sink so you have more leverage. Using both hands, take a wedge with the skin facing up, seeds facing under the water. Press both thumbs into the skin while rolling your fingers in an outwards motion across the surface of the red seeds. They should pop out without too much resistance and sink to the bottom of the bowl. When you have most the seeds out, you can flip the wedge over to release the few remaining seeds. Toss the empty wedge and skim the remaining white pith flakes off the surface of the water.
7. Once you’ve peeled all of the wedges, pour the bowl of water and seeds out into a colander. Rinse the seeds in cold running water to wash away any extra pith and sticky juice.
Pomegranate seeds are great on salad, with chocolate cake, and over ice cream, but I grew up eating fresh pomegranate out of a bowl with a spoon! In my opinion, pomegranate seeds taste better cold. For those of you who don’t know, the seeds are edible, though I’ve met people who spend a ridiculous amount of time biting the juicy red part and discarding the white seed. Waste of effort, just eat the whole thing!