A pomegranate peeled to reveal the arils. Photo by Rosi Maslarska | SXC.
When you bring your first pomegranate home, your immediate reaction may be to cut it in half, like an orange. Use this technique, instead:
Cut off the crown. Score the pomegranate’s skin into sections following the lines of the membrane in the exposed part of the fruit (the pattern is similar to that of an orange).
Place the scored fruit in a bowl of water and carefully pull apart the sections. Roll the arils off the membranes with your fingers. Discard the skin. Arils will sink to the bottom of the bowl while any membrane pieces will float.
Remove any floating membrane then strain out the arils. The arils are now ready to be eaten.
Pomegranates are picked ripe, and will not ripen further. Whole pomegranates will keep at room temperature, away from direct sunlight, for several days. Alternatively, they can be sealed in a plastic bag and refrigerated for up to three months. When buying pomegranates, select ones that are heavy for their size, with thin, tough, unbroken skin. Arils that have been separated can be kept refrigerated up to three days in a sealed plastic bag or frozen up to six months.
If someone sends you a box of pomegranates, put them in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. Photo by Michael Cuffe | SXC.
Now, we’re ready to move on to Part II, which includes: