Oct 18, 2010

How To Open A Pomegranate


Sorry I've been MIA the past few days, if you haven't been following me on twitter or facebook, then you probably didn't know that I just spent the past few days on an amazing trip to POM, the leader in farming pomegranates in the US, with over 18,000 acres in the heart of Fresno. It's Pomegranate season, and Pom Wonderful invited me and small group of wonderful bloggers to experience their POM Harvest Tour.

Pictured here, from top left to right, Brad Paris, GM and VP of Global Produce, Olga from Mango and Tomato, Yujin from The Patio Yujin, Paula from Bellalimento, Nicole from PinchMySalt, Mary from Deep South Dish, Rosa from Naver.com, Liren from Kitchen Confidante, second row that's me, then Julie from Peanut Butter Fingers, Andrea, our fabulous host from POM and Rachael from La Fujimama
What an amazing experience! Day one of the tour we visited Pom headquarters and saw first hand how the pomegranates are carefully selected to meet POM standards. We also saw the process of what went into making POM juices and teas, extracting the juice from the pomegranates, blowing and silk screening the bottles, bottling and packaging.


We ate and drank pomegranates all day, and later that evening we were treated to a special dinner prepared just for us. I had a warm spinach salad with goat cheese, pancetta and pomegranate seeds, a petit filet cooked to perfection topped with blue cheese in a pomegranate reduction, and for dessert we had pomegranate créme brulee. (I know, extra exercise this week!!)

Day two was the highlight of our tour. We got to eat lots of pomegranates, fly in corporate jets to view the 18,000 acres of pomegranate, pistachio and almond fields, then hand pick our very own pomegranates, almonds and pistacios to take home.





While there, I saw several demonstrations on how to open a pomegranate and I couldn't wait to try their technique myself. So today, my family eagerly awaited for me to open one up so we can all dig in and enjoy the delicious arils. If you've always wanted to try a pomegranate but didn't know how to eat one, follow these simple steps, just don't make the mistake I made and wear white while doing this!

How To Open A Pomegranate

Step One
Score around the top of the pomegranate. You don't have to cut all the way through, only through the skin.


Step Two
Remove the top. This easily comes right off.


Step Three
Once you remove the top you will see sections of the pomegranate divided by white membrane, score along those edges and the pomegranate will open up like a flower and all the arils will easily come out.


Step Four
Enjoy!!

37 comments :

  1. What a great opportunity to go there! It looks like a fun time! Thanks for showing how to open one, I haven't bought one before b/c wasn't sure how to open it...my mom gets them, but I have always been intimidated. I hope you have recipes in the next few days to show us how you can cook with the poms!!

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  2. This is so cool! Great pictures! Okay, now I'm in the mood for a pomegranate. Off to the store I go ...

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  3. Just bought my very first actual pomegranate this weekend (instead of juice) - thanks for the tutorial, as I probably would have butchered it! Great pictures, too!

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  4. I am so fortunate, it was great!

    And yes, I plan on cooking with pomegranates sometime this week. I wish I would have taken more home, we were able to pick as many as we wanted, but I was limited with my carry-on bag. I'll be buying more this week!!

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  5. Gina- you are so cute!
    I sent a pomgram to my husband. Now I'll know hot to open it for him. (and sneak some for myself!)
    thanks again for such a wonderful blog.

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  6. This is very useful info: how to open a pomegranate! Wonderful post.

    I think the POM Wonderful folks should consider inviting CA bloggers to visit them.

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  7. I once saw another really good way to strip the pomegranate seeds on a TV show...

    Fill a bowl with cold water, open the pomegranate like you did, and put the wedges under water. Then you just sort of pick out the pieces underwater. It's really easy to get them off, there is no mess, and the seeds sink while the white stuff floats. Then you just skim the top of the water to get all of the white stuff out, drain the water, and you have wonderful seeds to snack on. It takes about two minutes!

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  8. Awesome! I thank you for the demo, I wondered the easy way to do this bc I love POMS :-)

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  9. I follow those instructions to open a Pom but do it in a bowl of water - I have learnt to not wear white a lonnnggg time ago.
    DD and I love pom and enjoyed our first one of the season last week.

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  10. I absolutely LOVE pomegranates. I was so happy to see them in the store again. Thanks for sharing the easiest way to open them. I do it a different way but my way is so messy!

    Great photos too!

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  11. Ugh, I hate that photo of me. It was so hot and with my hair pulled back I look bald headed LOL!!

    I have been a lurker on your site for a couple of years and I really enjoyed meeting you and the rest of the gals - great tutorial!

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  12. I love POM! It's one of my favorite drinks, sounds like you had a good time on such a fabulous trip!

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  13. Great tutorial Gina! That's a fantastic foto in front of the plane. You're adorable & I LOVED meeting you. Mwah!

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  14. Okay, I've never eaten a pomegranate, but I have a few from a produce co-op I participate in that I got this past weekend. Do you EAT the seeds or just suck the juice and spit the seeds out? Can't wait to see what recipes you come up with, too!

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  15. Great pix, Gina and loved the tutorial! I've been using poms forever in salads and for making jelly, but never knew they could be opened this way!
    What sort of event was this? I'm from central California and have never heard of it. Love all your recipes and use them all the time. I am now at my w.w. goal weight (lost 31 lbs since May) and your site helped keep me cooking and interested. All your pix make the food look fantastic! Thanks!

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  16. @Melissa, Julia, yes! And if you are using the arils in a recipe, this would be the way to do it!!

    Thanks Shannon! :)

    @Lee, after so many requests, they are now taking sign-ups on their site for the next one!

    @Mary Deep South Dish- I don't like that photo of me either, wish I had more group shots! It was so great meeting you too, come lurk anytime!! :)

    @Newlyweds - yes, we all did! We were in pomegranate heaven!

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  17. @Paula - bell'alimento- great meeting you too! Hope we cross paths again sometime soon!!

    @Gourmefied - Such a great question and the answer is yes, you eat the seeds. All the fiber is in the seeds!

    @DebE - It was a event extended to a handful of bloggers. My daughter and I were talking about making POM jelly!

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  18. Well, you are just gorgeous! Nice to finally put a face to all of the yummy recipes. Glad you had a great time and thanks again for all of the WW friendly recipes. It makes dinner time so easy!

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  19. I'm curious how you make pomegranate juice from the seeds.

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  20. I just want you to know I think your website is FANTASTIC! I have been recommending it to everyone I know. I have even recommended via my status on facebook for all my health concious friends! I just started weight watchers at the end of Sept and it has been a godsend to be able to cook from here. Keep up the amazing recipes and I will keep cooking them!

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  21. Gina, it was so wonderful to meet you this weekend and share this POM adventure with you! Looking forward to seeing you in a few weeks :) Till then...

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  22. Fabulous post! It was so nice to meet you! Wish you didn't live so far away. :(

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  23. You don't know how long I've been eating pomegranates and never knew it could be so easy! Yum! Thanks for the tips!

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  24. Great photos as always, and fantastic information. The POM trip looks wonderful.

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  25. Gee, it sounds like you had a wonderful time! Never saw such beautiful pomegranates! Thanks for sharing how to open them too! it does look like a beautiful flower when open. Welcome home! xo

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  26. I have never seen a pomegranate tree - no idea they grew in bunches! Thanks for the tour and the tip on peeling them.

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  27. Kelly Bolduc10/19/10, 3:42 PM

    I made a rice porridge recently and added a whole pomegranate's seeds to the pot for sweetness and color. My rice cooker booklet said you could use tea bags while it cooks too. Never did that though maybe you could do that with any type of grain and add tea to make a fall ish recipe?

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  28. Yes, this is an easy way to get the seeds out, but....the juice will splatter all over and stain everything! Fill a bowl with water and open the fruit below water level, the juice will not spray, the seeds will drop to the bottom and the pith will float to the top...no mess.

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  29. You were right here in my backyard and I didn't invite you over! If I had know you were coming, I'd have baked a cake (one of your recipes, of course!) When you make your pomegranate jelly, let the juice settle for 24 hours. Then use only the very clear top liquid. Your jelly (pomegranate is my favorite) will be beautiful. If you get some of the sediment in it, it won't be as pretty. It can also be a very nice syrup for pancakes/waffles,etc.

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  30. Gorgeous pics and brilliant lesson! Thank you...
    :)
    Valerie

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  31. Hope you include some pomegranate recipes in the future :)

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  32. Pomegranates are on sale at the grocery store this week!! Time to buy some and try this wonderful treat!!

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  33. Pomegranate recipes WILL be coming in the future!

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  34. Thanks for showing how to open one,Yum! Thanks for the tips!

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  35. Thanks for the step by step pics,very helpful ...now I don't feel intimidated to buy pomegranates!

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  36. Thank you Gina! I have been on a POM frenzy lately. Have no idea why, just all the sudden had a craving and now I can't get enough. Problem was is I was butchering my Poms....big time. Now I can't wait until the morning to try this out. It is going to be even that much more enjoyable. Way less mess, that is for sure. :)

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  37. I've been eating pomegranates for years. I score it around the middle, gently pry the two halves apart, then sit down and eat one half, saving the other half for the next day. It takes time to pick each aril out, one at a time, but I like how it takes time to eat it!

    My question: How can you tell when a Pomegranate is ripe? Will it ripen in the frig, or should it be kept on the counter? There are times I have opened one, only to find it was not quite ripe, the arils pinkish and not red, so not quite as tasty and sweet.

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