Tuesday, November 11, 2008

How to Open a Pomegranate Without the Mess

One of my favorite things about this time of year is the seasonal availability of one of my favorite treats: Pomegranates. For some people, this season is all about pumpkin pie. But for me, it's those ruby-red bundles of goodness made by Mother Nature herself. So today, I'm using our blog to actually write about something useful: How to open a pomegranate without the mess.

Step 0: Start with a pomegranate. (11/11/2008)
Step 0: Start with a pomegranate. (11/11/2008)

I've seen various methods of opening a pomegranate, many of which I find needlessly messy. So here is my mess-free, stress-free way of opening pomegranates. First, you'll need a pomegranate. I buy mine at Costco. POM brand are the best, in my humble opinion.

Step 1: Slice off the top. (11/11/2008)
Step 1: Slice off the top. (11/11/2008)

Step 1: Using a paring knife, slice off the top, or crown. In some of the other methods I've seen, they cut off the crown deeper into the fruit, exposing the arils and making a big juicy mess. Totally unnecessary, I say. I prefer to cut off a thin portion without exposing the interior fruit.

Step 2: Make a center cut and score. (11/11/2008)
Step 2: Make a center cut and score. (11/11/2008)

Step 2: Stick the knife about a quarter-inch into the core, making a small incision. Then, gently, use your knife to score the outside skin in the same direction of the cut in the core.

Step 3: Repeat in opposite direction. (11/11/2008)
Step 3: Repeat in opposite direction. (11/11/2008)

Step 3: Repeat Step 2, but this time go in the opposite direction. If you did this correctly, you'll notice the center core will have a "+" or "x" depending on the angle in which you hold it.

Step 4: After scoring it, gently pry it open. (11/11/2008)
Step 4: After scoring it, gently pry it open. (11/11/2008)

Step 4: After cutting the core and scoring the outside skin, gently begin to pry it open. Be sure not to squeeze the fruit while doing this, or you'll crush the arils inside and again, make a big juicy mess.

Step 5: Open until it splits. (11/11/2008)
Step 5: Open until it splits. (11/11/2008)

Step 5: Keep prying the pomegranate open until it splits in half. Be on the lookout for any arils that fall out. As you've no doubt heard, pomegranate juice causes permanent stains, so be sure to avoid wearing white while doing this.

Step 6: Split again and then eat the tasty arils. (11/11/2008)
Step 6: Split again and then eat the tasty arils. (11/11/2008)

Step 6: Take the two halves and split them again along the scoring lines you made. You should end up with four large sections that now make it much easier to pick out the tasty little arils. Some people prefer to do this in a bin of water, since the arils sink while the membrane lining floats. But I find it just as easy to do this dry. Enjoy!

2 comments:

beastandbean said...

OMG...how funny that you would post this right now. Christine and I are also huge fans of pomegranites and she ends up bringing home at least a couple a week from the downtown farmer's market.

But what usually happens is that they sit in our fruit bowl because as much as we both enjoy the taste, neither of us enjoys the task of getting at those tasty arils (ten points to you for knowing what those things are called!) inside. Trust me, I have the pomegranite stained walls to prove how hard it is to get at the fruit! Yikes!

Your method seems much more practical and way cleaner...now, if only I'd read this blog post BEFORE I massacred a poor pomegranite last week, all would be right with the world!

Thanks for the post though, next time, I will try the Gomez method for sure!

Mayangrl said...

Actually, an even easier way is to score and cut as you describe, then open in a bowl of water. Drain the water and you have all the nice tasty arils, without any stained walls or countertops!