This rustic fruit is a sweet reminder of my childhood, when my mom would break the leathery skin open and amaze my siblings and me with the ruby gems tucked inside. She would patiently and gently peel the seeds away as each one of us waited for our share. We would then crush the seeds between our teeth, and squeal with glee as we felt a sweet and juicy burst in our mouth.
Pomegranate seeds are as much of a delight to me today. While I think there is no better way to eat pomegranates than plain, the seeds do make a beautiful garnish, especially when scattered onto salads. And these seeds are a wonderful source of antioxidants polyphenols, and vitamin B and C. So adding a handful in dishes is an easy way to make your meal more nutritious.
If you haven't tried pomegranates, below are a few tips for selecting and preparing this fruit.
How to choose
Admittedly selecting pomegranates can be a bit tricky. From my experience, the uglier the skin of the pomegranate the better. The ripest pomegranates tend to have rough skin that may be cracking as the seeds inside are expanding beyond the fruit's capacity. Bright shiny red skins of a younger pomegranate are attractive, but you may be disappointed to find pale immature seeds as you break into them. When selecting pomegranates, choose a fruit that is heavy for its size. Avoid bruised fruits.
How to prepare
Removing the delicate seeds without breaking them requires a bit of care. I like to start by making a shallow cut or score around the circumference from the top of the pomegranate, before breaking it apart into halves. From there break down the clusters, place these chunks into a large bowl of cold water, and work to gently prod the seeds off of the pith. The seeds will sink to the bottom of the bowl, while the white membrane will float. When you have completely separated the seeds, scoop out the floating white membrane, before draining the seeds through a sieve. The seeds will last for roughly a week in a plastic container lined with a paper towel.