Monday, November 21, 2011

Adventures in Fruit, Part 2

Another fruit that is in season right now is the mythical pomegranate. Fans of Hades, Demeter, and Persephone will remember that the reason we have six months of winter is because of the six pomegranate seeds that Persephone ate after being kidnapped by Hades and held captive in the underworld. Her mother, Demeter, managed to bring her home, but because of those tricky pomegranate seeds, Persephone must return to the underworld to live with Hades for six months out of every year. While Persephone languishes in the underworld, Demeter misses her daughter. And while Demeter mourns, the land dies. When Persephone returns to her mother, Demeter rejoices and the land blooms. It sure is lucky for us that Persephone didn't like pomegranates as much as I do or we'd have winter all year.

As delicious as the pomegranate tastes, it is not the easiest fruit to peel and eat. And it makes a big mess. Follow the steps below to eat a pomegranate, but whatever you do, be sure to wear dark-colored clothing or an apron because the juice is likely to spray exactly where you don't want it.

This is a pomegranate. For best results, look for a deep red colored fruit that is not too squishy:

Step one:

Cut off the top of the pomegranate.

Step two:

Score the peel so the fruit can be divided into quarters. Try not to cut into the seeds. Pull the fruit apart with your hands.

Step three:

I've seen some instructions that say you have to soak the fruit, but I simply put a colander in the sink and direct the seeds into it as they come out of the peel. This is very messy however you do it. Take a section of the pomegranate and pull the peel side toward you while pushing the seed side toward the colander. Some seeds will pop right out; others you'll need to kind of ease out. Use the pads of you fingers or thumb. If you use your fingernails, the juice squirts out EVERYWHERE.

Repeat this process with each section. When all the seeds are separated, the peel looks like this:

Step four:

Clean up your mess! Discard this stuff.

Run water over the seeds in the colander, shake it around, and pick out any white bits you missed. Rinse out the sink (notice how the juice gets all over). If you do this like I do, you'll also be wiping down random juice splatters from the counters, walls, floor, and miniblinds. If you wear glasses, chances are you'll need to rinse them, too, especially the first time.


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