Pomgranates have a leathery, deep red to purplish red rind and are larger than apples. Though not beautiful on the outside, they have a spectacular interior packed full of sparkling, juicy, ruby-colored seeds that are slightly sweet and refreshingly tart. Pomegranates were mentioned both in the Bible and in Greek mythology. The juice of the pomegranate can permanently stain clothing, a bonus discovered by the ancients who used the crimson juices to dye their rugs and to color their lips and cheeks. It is said Cleopatra used pomegranate juice in this way. Pomegranate juice is used to make grenadine syrup, a popular addition to drinks and desserts. Pomegranates are available September to December.
How to Buy
Choose fruit that is heavy for its size. The rind should not be dried or shriveled. Pomegranates are sold ripe and ready to eat.
How to Prepare
To remove seeds, cut the knobby end off the pomegranate and score the rind lenghtwise 4 to 6 times. Place the pomegranate in a bowl and cover with cool water; let stand 5 minutes. While holding the pomeranate under water, break it apart into sections, seperating the seeds from the pithy white membrane. The edible seeds will sink to the bottom of the bowl and the bitter, inedible membrane will float to the top. Discard the membrane and rind. Drain the seeds in a colander and gently pat dry with paper towels. Be careful during this process because the juice can stain clothing permanently.
How to Store
Refrigerate unwashed pomegranate up to 3 months.
How to Serve
Eat pomegranate seeds by themselves, or sprinkle them on fruit, salads, meat, poultry and fish. For dessert, sprinkle on ice cream, yogurt, custard or pudding.