I’ve created a Flickr Set detailing how to disassemble a pomegranate for those interested in my technique. No doubt those who have been eating pomegranates for years will either be familiar with this method, or will have their own, better methods. I offer this for the curious.
I’ve been eating these fruits ever since my grandfather started buying them for me as a treat when I was too young to remember just how young I was. It was always a very special thing. Where some people see a lot of trouble to go through (getting newspaper so you don’t make a mess, etc) I see a sort of ritual that signals you’re doing something fun and special.
Going through trouble for something you enjoy isn’t trouble at all. It’s anticipation, preparation, and the actual execution of an enjoyable event.
One thing I do not detail in this photoset is the mess that the juice can make. I probably should have taken a photo of that (maybe I’ll add one next time) but part of my point here was to dissect the fruit and spilling the least possible amount of pomegranate juice. You’ll see in the pictures that I did just that. Really, barely any drips occurred. Once you get good, you can eat a pomegranate without dripping anything. However, sometimes especially with a really ripe fruit, drips cannot be avoided. Thus, the newspaper.
Additionally, don’t wear really good clothes. The seeds can squirt if you are squeezing too hard, or if you break a seed unexpectedly.
Cleopatra used pomegranates to stain her lips red. Early lipstick!
Pomegranate is called “Granada” in Spanish and “Grenade” in French.
Although grown in parts of this country (CA and AZ) the pomegranate is a native of Iran and has long been cultivated throughout the Mediterranean.
You may see “Pom Wonderful” on some pomegranate juice bottles. “Wonderful” is a particular cultivar of pomegranate known for better juicing.
The pomegranate has been used to symbolize a number of things, including the in dissolution of insolubility of marriage. For instance, it is used in Greek mythology by Hades to bind Persephone to him.
[CORRECTION, noted above. I meant the insolubility of marriage. Come on people, someone should have picked up on that. The pomegranate is a symbol of a strong bond between two people.]
[UPDATE: Someone has noted on another site that I don’t tell you how to eat it once it’s opened. You can remove the seeds by hand and use them in cooking. Or you can chew the seeds and swallow them. Or you can chew the seeds gently to release the juice, suck down the juice and spit out the seeds.]