Tuesday, December 13, 2011
Eating the Unusual: Pomegranates
If you cut open your pomegranate and it looks like this, you did it wrong.
I think there probably IS a LOT of misinformation out there as the woman in this video says. Watching her go after a pomegranate is enlightening. I do think she might have a slightly different cultivar than the ones available to me, but her video does make sense. Just don't cut either end quite so deeply. To me it appears she seems to cone out about 3/4" to an inch of the bottom and cuts off 1/2" at the top. I'd keep these cuts fairly shallow, maybe 1/4" to 3/8".
Eating a pomegranate I think can be possibly be regarded as an art form. I think it decidedly takes a bit of practice along with knowledge.
Pomegranates are hardy in zones 7 through 10. This means they just don't grow here, nor anywhere I have actually lived. From a horticultural perspective they remind me of a member of the rose family, which
They remind me of nothing so much as a ginormous rose hip. The edible part packed in section are like the individual berry cells of a raspberry.
Generally, when I see them for sale they are priced pretty expensively, a couple bucks each. I would almost assume however they are sort of invasive in their zone given what I have read about how easily their seed germinate. This year, I have been coming across them priced under a buck, once at 49 cents a piece, which prompted me to pick up four.
Pure pomegranate juice has always been pretty pricey as well, so until this year, I couldn't have told you what a pomegranate actually tasted like, so it may not surprise you that the only other time I ever ate a pomegranate I ate totally the wrong part. Since then I have educated myself a bit and understand the juice to be tasty thanks to Ocean Spray. They have begun selling a pomegranate and blueberry juice blend. Since I know what blueberries taste like, identifying the other flavor present hasn't been too terribly difficult.
So I was thinking juice. Along those lines I have also read juice extraction to be problematic in a home setting and involving a juice and jelly straining bag, a mortar and pestle, and taking a lot of effort and time. So for juice I attempted to apply something I know about juicing citrus. If you roll the soon to be juiced citrus around with a lot of pressure it makes it fairly easy to get a better amount of juice a lot more quickly. So I rolled a pomegranate around pressing fairly hard, rupturing a good number of the juice seeds. I think making a hole in one side and a hole opposite and placing over a glass could be a fairly efficient method of getting at the juice without the tasks of straining the seeds. The trick is bust all the fruit capsules.
My two-year-old nephews and I devoured a pomegranate the other day, slicing the rind and sectioning it, dripping not a drop of juice, except for that which dribbled down the boys chins. The boys declared it was "crunchy good" and kept asking for more. At first my one nephew asked if it was an apple, which we were also having for lunch. (He also though a Red Norland potato might be an apple when we popped one from the ground this summer. Obviously, it looks edible to him.)
My sister-in-law confessed she didn't lke pomegranates because she was confused as to how to eat them. Someone from the national pomegranate marketng board should get that woman in the video on YouTube to make commercials.
We talked about how pomegranates and apples are alike and how they are different. We spent a lot of time looking at the seeds of each.
Later, we moved on to eating roasted and salted spaghetti squash seeds.
We are the seed eaters.
We didn't eat the apple seeds, though. Big difference.