How To Open a Pomegranate

According to Greek mythology, Persephone had to remain in the Underworld because she couldn't resist the seeds of a pomegranate. After you try this fruit for yourself, you just might decide that you would willingly accept a similar fate for one more helping!

It might seem fitting that something this tasty should come at a price but, in truth, nothing could be less transgressive than eating pomegranate. The healthful nature of pomegranate - with its bountiful antioxidants and vitamin C to boot - partially explains its increasing popularity. But all the health benefits in the world wouldn't make it such a hit if pomegranate didn't taste so good. Neither too sweet nor to tart, each seed bursts with juicy goodness.

Despite all its merits, extracting the edible seeds from a pomegranate can be difficult. If you find yourself struggling, here are some quick ways to reap your delicious pomegranate rewards.

  1. Select your cutting space carefully. Pomegranate juice stains very easily! You'll probably want to place a large bowl in the middle of a plastic cutting board, or just cut where you don't mind a few red drops that you'll have to wipe up quickly.
  2. Using a sharp knife, slice open the pomegranate about a half of an inch from the top, or crown (where you see the skin rise up gently to a dark round spot). Your cut will reveal the brilliant red seeds within, and probably a few seeds will cling to the crown you removed as well. Don't worry, soon your feast can begin!
  3. Making really shallow incisions with your knife from the top of the pomegranate to the bottom, cut the pomegranate skin into segments (about five or six).
  4. Submerse your pomegranate in a bowl of water. This step is optional, but it can significantly reduce any splattering mess that results from the pomegranate juice. If you don't want to use water, you can perform the next step in a deep bowl with great success as well.
  5. Gently pull the segments apart. They should easily separate along the incisions you made.
  6. Using your fingers, coax the seeds out from the segments. Use a gentle touch with these seeds, so as not to burst any!
  7. Now you have a bowl full of water, pulp and pomegranate seeds! Use a spoon to remove any of the light-colored fibrous pomegranate flesh (a simple step, since this unwanted element rises to the top on its own). Use a strainer to separate the seeds from the liquid.

Now you have a beautiful heap of pomegranate fruit to enjoy either on its own or as part of a dish. Have fun discovering your own favorite way of eating pomegranate. Enjoy!


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By Susan Cline