Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Pomegranates


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.

8 comments:

  1. Anonymous1:26 AM

    re pomegranates

    If you cut it in half hold it cut
    side down in your hand you can hit it(the pomegranate) with a wooden spoon and the fruit
    will fall out

    Catherine (scotland)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Seconding Catherine's suggestion of giving it a little thump to make the seeds fall out, but adding the advice to wear an apron or something because the process can be a little splashy. Don't ask me how I know.;-)

    ReplyDelete
  3. I love pomegranates too, but that grandilla is too ugly to consider eating. Looks fishy...

    ReplyDelete
  4. If I have a pomegranate, I take a lot of time to pick it fruit by fruit and I really enjoy how the berries burst on my tongue.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Pomegranates will stain as well. Unfortunately, the juice doesn't stain things that nice bright jewel red - it sortof goes brownish red. Like old blood.

    We had a pomegranate bush in our yard in Tuscon AZ when I was little. I always wore an apron to pick all the seeds out. I'm sure that my grandma was happy to let me do it as it kept me out of trouble for well over an hour if it was a large one. I must have been quite the tenacious 5 yr old.

    Thanks for the hint on how to get those seeds out faster. I never knew either. :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. I'm always amazed at the diversity of the world of fruit. I saw fruits I had never even heard of before on my recent trip to Thailand.

    I too have long been fascinated by the beautiful pomegranate. I have labored long and hard to extract those little jewels. Thanks for the new trick!

    I am reminded though that some of the best foods on earth are those that take time to eat -- steamed crabs, for example.

    Thanks for the introduction to Dijanne Cevaal. Her work is magnificent!

    ReplyDelete
  7. thanks for teaching us all the pomegranate trick! now i want to go get one!

    ReplyDelete
  8. So granadilla = lilikoi. One of my favorite tropical fruits!

    I didn't know about that method of eating pomegranates. I did recently find out that chickens (yeah, I'm obsessed) love them.

    ReplyDelete