Wednesday, September 22, 2010
I bought a couple of pomegranates this week. I have always been fascinated with them, first because they seem sort of rare and only show up in our stores here from time to time. The second is because they are so beautiful and their structure is so different from any other fruit, although I did try a fruit in South America that had similarities. (more on that, further on) The inside looks like jewels and each little separate jewel is like a burst of sweet/tart flavor with a chewy, nutty little seed in the center. I have never seen them growing, but serendipitously, Dijanne Cevaal has a photo of a green, growing pomegranate on her blog today. Dijanne is a fabric artist who uses a pomegranite motif in many of her works. Here is one of her marvelous pomegranates.
The problem, for me, with pomegranates is that they are so tedious to eat—picking each little morsel out of the pithy membrane, which, if you happen to eat some of, tastes pretty bad. But I learned something this week. I Googled "how to eat a pomegranate" on a hunch that there might be some trick to it. There is. You cut the end off, score it down the sides and soak for about 5 minutes in a bowl of water, which seems to kind of soften the thickest parts of that membrane. Then you pull it into pieces and work the edible parts out under the water in the bowl. The little bits of pale yellow membrane float to the top and the red fruit sinks to the bottom. Skim the inedible stuff off the top of the water, then drain the fruit in a sieve. Voila! So, why did it take me this long to learn that? Did everyone else already know how to do this?
Now, about that South American fruit—granadilla. It resembles a pomegranate in that the outer skin is quite firm and the inside consists of individual little seeds, surrounded by clear, juicy flesh. As beautiful as the inside of a pomegranate is, the inside of a granadilla is ugly. It is gray and mucous-like in texture. But if you can get past that, it is really delicious. In looking for those links, I just discovered that granadilla is the same thing as passion fruit. Look at me. I've learned two things this week.