Nick Federoff's Blog
Do I ever have memories of pomegranates! Some are good and others are not so good. It used to be a joke when the best time to them was. In my neighborhood we made sure they were all off the tree before the sun set on October 31st. Otherwise, the neighborhood trick or treaters would hop the fence then throw them around – and guess who got to pick them up!
Pomegranates date back to biblical times. The juice of a pomegranate is was used by scribes to write on parchment paper, it was used in dying clothing and it is known to have antioxidant values. Oh, and they taste real good, too.
Making pomegranate juice is real easy. You can cut the rosette flower part off then slice the pomegranate in half. Now, with an orange juice squeezer simply juice it. Allow the juice to settle. The pulp, membrane and yucky stuff will rise to the top. Skim it off then drink the juice. Raw pomegranate juice has a slight bitter taste. When you buy it in a bottle at the market those are usually watered down with sugar, apple juice and…water. However, I like the concentrate version the best.
Peeling then eating pomegranates is an experience in itself. If you’ve never peeled one before then are you in for a treat. But, there are rules to follow. First, put on a shirt and pants that can get stained. Put a tablecloth out or some newspaper on the table or plan to do this outside. The ruby red pomegranate jewels have a tendency to burst like fireworks on the 4th of July. Just like in the juicing process you’ll want to trim off the ends. Now, score the leathery outside with a sharp knife trying not to cut into the pomegranate too deeply. Now it’s time to carefully separate the pomegranate. Put your thumbs at the top of the pomegranate then straddle your fingers around to the bottom. Pull and separate half of it then the other half. If you have any trouble you might have to score the underside just a little more in all four directions. Just be careful not to cut all the way through.
We are now at the point of separating all of the seeds from the pith. With steady firm, yet agile, hands and fingers pull out each seed from its cradled home. When you push too hard they will burst. Tasting the seeds as you go along is part of the deal. I, sometimes, like to deprive myself until the whole pomegranate has been peeled and there’s a whole bowl to dive into.
HERE’S THE CHEATERS WAY TO PEEL A POMEGRANIT:
For years, and I mean years, I peeled my pomegranates just like we discussed above. However, I found a way that works much more effectively with less pomegranate seed loss and explosions. Everything we talked about in the peeling process still remains the same. However, the trick is to peel them under water. Put on a bathing suit…nope, just kidding about that but you will need a large bowl filled with cool water. I find that by submerging the pomegranate in the water you have less seed loss and they peel much faster. You only have to worry about getting a little wet if you get carried away.
As you are peeling keep an eye on the pith (the white papery stuff and the part the seed is literally attached to). It will actually float to the top. The leathery shell will sink. When all the quarters have been cleaned you’ll need to skim off anything that’s floating then drain the water.
It’s time to dig in! Pomegranate seeds are used in presumptuous foo-foo green salads and other culinary dishes. My favorite way to eat them is either by the handful or to much down on them as if eating cereal. Simply put the pomegranate seeds in a bowl, add milk to just the top of the seeds then sprinkle on a little bit of sugar (sure the seeds should be sweet enough without the sugar but humor me here). Now eat for breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner, supper, linner, lupper, snacks time, just before bed – pretty much anytime!
Do me a favor and tell me how you like it and I’ll let my audience know (under anonymity, of course). Send me an email to pomegranates ( at ) thingsgreen.com. Or, feel free to call me 24/7, toll free from seed-to-shining seed at 1-800-405-NICK)6425).
Ciao…Nick : )>>>