December 10, 2007

Annual Pomegranate

Looking All Wholesome And Innocent...

On a recent trip to the farmer's market Crabby came home with a pomegranate. She ate it in two sittings: once by itself (yumm), and once accompanied by a kiwi (even yummier). Note: we're talking the fruit kind of kiwi; Crabby did not pick up a New Zealander at the farmer's market, even though they do have cute accents and the Lobster happens to out of town. Crabby is not that sort of Crab.

Anyway, the kiwi/pomegranate combination is awesome. Both fruits are sweet and tart in the same kind of way, and the colors look so pretty together. The visual effect is so impressive you may want to take a picture of your little fruit bowl and post it on your blog! But that would mean hunting down your camera and the battery's probably not charged and you're too hungry so whatever. Forget the picture.

Kiwis and Pomegranates are both high in antioxidants. And though research is somewhat preliminary and mostly animal-based, pomegranates are suspected to ward off all kinds of diseases, like prostate cancer and heart disease and diabetes and such.

So why is that probably the last pomegranate that Crabby will consume until next year when she is again tempted?

Because if you commissioned a battalion of engineers to try to design a more sneaky inaccessible fruit they'd be hard-pressed to beat the pomegranate.

The outside is all hard and leathery, so you dig your thumbs in to peel it. Squirt.

The inside is all stuck together and you have to try to pull the little sections. Squirt.

The sections are covered with a thin membrane that tastes terrible and that seems to start coming off but then gets stuck--sort of like when you're peeling a hard boiled egg. You're so close, yet the membrane keeps breaking so you dig little more frantically and... Squirt.

And note: All this Squirting would not be a big deal if this were a lemon or a cantaloupe, but pomegranate juice is dark reddish and it stains!

By the time you're ten minutes into and spattered with juice stains, it's is easy to declare, NO MORE POMEGRANATES EVER, OR AT LEAST NOT FOR A VERY LONG TIME!

(You can buy the juice instead, which may actually be more nutritious anyway--but Crabby detects a yucky musky flavor in the juice which she doesn't in the fruit, so she's learned to ignore those cute little overpriced bottles of pomegranate juice at the store).

So here's one way to deal with opening up a pomegranate.

But Crabby has her own instructions.

1. Take pomegranate in left hand, sharp kitchen knife in right.

2. Rethink; put both down.

3. Take off all your clothes.

4. Take pomegranate in left hand again, sharp kitchen knife in right, and retreat to bathtub.

5. Decide knife is superfluous and set it down nearby.

6. Dig in rip open pomegranate with fingers, greedily biting any exposed sections and covering most of self in dark red juice.

7. Try to calm spouse down when you are discovered in tub with kitchen knife at your side, covered in dark red fluid.

8. Resolve to buy pomegranate juice next time even if you don't like it as much.

Winter fruit is a hard subject to comment on--so Crabby will not be offended if you stray onto other subjects or even other blogs. Just come back eventually, or she will be very sad!

38 comments:

  1. The Bag Lady loves pomegranates. She wishes she had one right now. It's dark, and cold and at least 27 km to the nearest grocery store where she would have even the remotest chance of finding one, and she is not going to get dressed, warm up the truck, drive 27 kms, buy a pomegranate, drive 27 kms back again, undress, climb into the tub and peel and eat a pomegranate. Sigh.

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  2. My fave holiday treat is pomegranate juice and champagne.
    YUM.
    I love pomegranates and think they're worth the mess...

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  3. I loooove pomegranates - I usually eat as many as I can while they are in season. I've gotten better at dissecting them, but they are a bit of work to eat, that's for sure!

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  4. geosomin, what kind of champagne do you use? That sounds fabulously yummy - the Bag Lady wants to try some.

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  5. I would eat the Kiwi, but I have never tried pomegranate. As far as I remember anyway, but being sisters with bag lady, maybe I did once as a kid and didn't like them. Anything that takes that much work for so little reward just aggravates me. Like Ribs, they are good and I enjoy the meat, but getting it off the bone is so much bother, I would rather just eat something else. Maybe it's the mess?

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  6. Geosomin, pomegranate juice and champagne IS absolutely excellent, one of my faves. I tried playing StarWarsOpoly with my 10 year old cousin over the summer while drinking several glasses of it...thankfully the game didn't go on for long or I would've lost terribly.

    Crabby, I've actually been able to find pomegranate seeds in plastic containers sold at farm stands (not the By-the-side-of-the-road ones, but the not-supermarket, not-farmer's market permanent place that has all the yummy veggies). It's the best of all worlds! You get the yummy pomegranate seeds without having to open up the fruit!

    I in fact just had some pomegranate yesterday (and was wearing a white shirt while I opened the fruit, ack! at least it wasn't a favorite shirt...), which I mixed in with spinach and nuts and made pastries, and also had some on pasta. Mmm.

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  7. Wow, pomegranates juice and champagne sounds wonderful. And to buy them pre-peeled would be awesome! And the spinach and nuts and pastry combo sounds very tempting.

    So baglady and java chick and geosomin, you folks sound more manually dexterous than I am. But perhaps I should give it more of a chance.

    And Reb, it's funny how I don't find the sloppy mess of ribs too much of a hassle! Maybe it's the lure of fatty meat over healthy fruit.

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  8. Hmmmm...was eyeballing pomengranates this morning - my grocery store had a special two for one this morning. Shall I pick some up for everyone? :-)

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  9. Oops, sorry Leth, somehow I got you and Geosomin confused in my mind and thought I'd caught you. Now I'd have to have a serious amount of champagne in order to take on a 10 year old in a Star Wars game. I'd lose either way, but it would be more fun with the bubbly.

    Go for it missicat--and send us pictures!

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  10. Pomegranates are currently being pushed at the local stores and they do look enticing.
    I find them a bit too much work for the reward, but I love messy food and they are among the messiest I've found.

    I like the bathtub idea.

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  11. I cracked up at the thought of being found in the tub with a sharp knife and an innocent little pomegranate... hard to explain that one away :)

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  12. Thanks to this post I guffawed with my lunch in my mouth and it wasn't pretty. But the guffaw was hearty and fun. So thanks for that! (And thanks for the encouraging and supportive comment about my knee!) I have never eaten a pomegranate. It has always just looked too intimidating, but I'm doing lots of things now I thought I never could so I think I may add this to the list!

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  13. Ya know, I haven't eaten a fresh pommegranate in years.. probably for all of the squirty reasons you stated. But you've all convinced me to get one the next time I go shopping. I expect that it's kind of like a psychic expericence.. getting your pom red.

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  14. I ruined a pink sweatshirt a few weeks ago trying to get into my pomegranate. I decided that eating chocolate is so much easier.

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  15. This post is too funny. and I know what you mean about the knife and red spots all over the kitchen. I've always thought if I didn't clean up, someone would call the police. but pomegranates are sooooo delicious. I've gotta try the juice and champagne

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  16. Oooh, Erin, chocolate! Now I want some! Actually, it occurs to me, I've never seen chocolate-covered pomegranate seeds. That would taste awesome, wouldn't it?

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  17. I've heard that if you peel it in a bowl of water the seeds float and you can just strain it after you're done to get all the seeds and you don't stain your hands. I haven't tried it yet, but it sounds probable.

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  18. To confirm what Sara wrote, Alton Brown on Good Eats did a whole episode on Pomegranates and showed how to peel them under water. Perhaps on You Tube somewhere? Dunno...but that nekkie-in-the-tub got me to thinking, which will thrill my SO no end - really - Mwa ha ha ha. Now where did he hide that knife???

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  19. I've never even had a pomegranate. And now I'm all intimidated about trying to eat one!
    I think I will take your bathtub advice.

    (and hilary, you never cease to amaze me with your puns. "getting you pom red?" lol!)

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  20. I really will have to try the bowl of water trick--because pomegranates really are both healthy and tasty. (Though like all fruit, you gotta get one that's ripe but not rotting.) Alton Brown, huh? I'll have to check that out.

    But yeah, can the humble fruit compare to chocolate? I think not.

    And you guys are too funny. Hilary, as usual, I am in awe of your cunning punning.

    And I'm glad to discover I'm not the only one inept enough to spew red spots all over the kitchen or ruin my clothes!

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  21. I used to buy pomegranate concentrate. It was thick like syrup and just perfect for mixing with club soda or just knocking back all on its own.

    I've heard too many horror stories to make a go at the real fruit, although I like your strategy!

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  22. I just learned a new way to open poms. Cut in half then over a large (at least 2X the size of the pom) wack the back with a spoon. This way worked way better for me than the under water method (and I love AB). If you watch the Top Chef holiday special Betty demonstrates this technique when helping Tre put his 4th course together.

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  23. I was in the grocery store last night and there was a sign above the pomegranates explaining how to work with them. Apparently it helps a lot to completely submerge it in a bowl of water while you're picking it apart.

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  24. Hmm... I wonder if the concentrate would have more or less of that flavor I don't like in the juice? It's not the tart/bitter part, its that other, weirder flavor... thanks Bunnygirl.

    And whacking, I must try whacking! If only to get even with the pom for squirting me.

    The bowl of water does seem to be a popular option too. I may have to buy a Second Annual pomegranate and try all these out!

    Oh and thanks, Daphne and Sophia for stopping by and leaving a comment! It's great to see new folks. (And I apologize if you're not new and I forgot your names from before--that happens sometimes!)

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  25. Pomegranate juice is very popular in Korea and I found out last year that it contains vinegar, which may be the odd thing you detect.

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  26. Thanks Lauren--I wonder if that's it! I had no idea vinegar was in there, and it certainly isn't in the fruit itself.

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  27. Crabby, thanks for stopping by my site! Not quite as sarcastic and fun as yours, but maybe someday...

    On topic: I don't think I have ever had pomegranate (though Pomtinis and Pama with seltzer are delicious). It looks too scary to cut into the fruit, and I'm afraid your bathtub description confirmed that. We'll see - maybe I'll get brave.

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  28. I've never had a pomegranate before, but your post made me want to try one - or, at least, try some juice.

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  29. I have this thing where I love to work for my food. I makes me think the calories don;t count. Pomegranates are one....uh, ahem, crab is another :) Free calories, right?

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  30. I lvoe pomegranates - I add it to my oatmeal every now and then. I also found a liquid supplement called Naturally Pomegrante - 1 oz is the equivalent of 16 pomegrantes, it very strong but very tasty and could be tossed in a smoothies too, but I enjoy sipping it straight from the bottle.

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  31. Thanks Laura, E, Cara and Lady Rose!

    And (ulp) crab? (I actually, i love crab too, but the work involved seems like a downside, not a plus!)

    And that pom concentrate sounds pretty handy--I like the idea of adding it to smoothies!

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  32. I've never had a pomegranate but they seem to be all the rage this year.

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  33. Pomegranates grow easily in AZ and I happen to know at least three sources for pomegranates so I don't have to spend $2+ per pomegranate. I use pomegranates all the time for Thanksgiving salads, eating, etc. and I never have to use the water submerge method. That sounds so hard compared to what a Pomegranate Farmer taught me. It is the whacking method plus another little thing.

    1. Cut the pomegranate along the "equator", not along the "poles".

    2. With your thumbs on the stem or base and the seeds facing away from you into a big bowl, pull back the peel until it cracks in several places. Seeds are already falling out.

    3. Hit the back of the pom with a spoon or cleaver or something to get more loose seeds.

    4. Easily get the remaining exposed seeds into the bowl. No mess, no fuss!

    Happy to spread the good word of pomegranates. Another thing you can do if you have tons of pomegranates on your hands is to cut them in half and juice them in an electric citrus juicer. Use the juice to make jelly or syrup for pancakes. I have a bottle of my homemade pomegranate syrup in the fridge right now and had it on waffles this a.m.!

    Yes, do go get one more pomegranate and try again.

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  34. I've had 2 pomegranates in my life....once as a kid, and once last year. Very tasty, and I'll have them again, but I'm in no hurry! Of course the next time I even see them I'll probably crack up laughing, thinking about this post....hopefully people won't notice....or choose to ignore.

    I needed a giggle tonight! Thanks!

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  35. Dang, I KNOW I posted a reply here last night. I guess Blogger ate it.

    Anyway, thanks so much craftspring; great instructions. And really appreciate your comments, teena and cindy and laura!

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  36. I heard on the FoodNetwork that if you split said pomegranate and then hit it with your hand the seeds will miraculously fall out negating the need to be either naked or head to toe in black. I haven't tried this trick nor do I think it'll work, but some of you crabs might be more adventurous than I am. I just buy them pre-peeled and lovely in a little plastic container.

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  37. I will be one more vote for the "cut in half and smack it with a spoon" method. Works great, then I use a flat reamer to mush the juice out of them through a strainer. Delicious, and no mess.

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