Sunday, December 11, 2011

Pomegranate Cleaning & Juicing Joy

It's the season once again. I was first introduced to the pomegranate fruit in seventh grade. I had a friend, Justina who brought one for her recess snack. In fact, she brought the same pomegranate for several days until she had finished it. Eventually, she would show up with a new pomegranate and begin nibbling again. I was fascinated so when I asked her about it one day, she gave me a segment. "You can swallow the arils and the seeds," she said. 

Yum...sweet, juicy and 
flavourful. After I finished picking the seeds from the yellowish pulp, my fingers were tinted red. Apart from my dyed hands, I don't remember a huge mess although I now understand why Justina's parents made her eat the fruit at school.
As an adult I have learned many things about the origins, biblical references and health benefits of pomegranates. I don't need to share those. I will describe some other essential tips that I've discovered. After several pomegranate disasters involving red juice spraying on floors, walls, appliances and clothing, I found a less messy technique. I use the sink with water and a colander. A bowl of water works as well, but I like to have more space. I cut the fruit in half, then peel the seeds off the pith of the immersed pomegranate. The squirting juice stays under water and the seeds are easy to remove and scoop up.
I have seen an even simpler technique although I haven't tried it. Cut a pomegranate in half. Then put the seed side down in the palm of your hand and tap the back with a spoon. The released seeds should drop into a bowl. I would think that the juice would stain hands with this method.

A pomegranate tool is now available. It looks like some type of bowl with a strainer inside. Perhaps I'll look for it in a kitchen gadget store. For the number of pomegranates I consume, I think it might be worth the lack of hassle.

Finally, for those who prefer their pomegranate in juice form, here's a hint from the "Steven and Chris" show. Use a potato ricer, place pomegranate seeds inside and put entire ricer head into a plastic baggie, closed as much as possible, before squeezing. Juice and mess remain in the baggie and juice can be poured into a glass.

Mmmmm...According to some sources, exactly 840 seeds per fruit. According to others
between 200 and 1000. In my opinion, the more, the better.

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