Everything you need to know about Pomegranate – the jewel of winter!

Pomegranates stand out from the crown with their gorgeously shiny red skin. This exotic fruit can help you up your Christmas decoration game, but first you need to know how to get the good stuff out!

Couldn’t resist the ruby shine of that pomegranate? The good news is that that means you picked a good one! That bright red color means that it’s ripe and ready to eat. If you picked one that’s not so red, then you’ll have to use it as a decorative piece, because pomegranates do not ripen after harvesting. You can leave your pomegranate in the fridge for a week before eating, the shell is so thick that it will protect the juicy flesh inside for a long time.

It can be really difficult to get the bright red, sharp tasting jewels of flesh pomegranate out! As you may have found out already, these cheeky little things are known to burst and spray everywhere when you try to cut the fruit open – so make sure to put on an apron before you open it.

Straight to the heart

There are two tried and tested ways of getting the delicious pulp out. Either by cutting the pomegranate into two and knocking the seeds out by hitting the shell with a wooden spoon. You’ll need a deep bowl for this to avoid redecorating your kitchen with pomegranate juice! Even then, you’ll probably need to use your fingers to ease out the seeds, as these are protected inside little individual chambers made of whitish skin.

Another option is to prise out the pomegranate flesh under water. To do this, carefully cut off the end and lightly pull the skin before placing the whole thing into a large bowl of water. Then work with your hands to break the fruit apart and carefully remove the seeds. This technique has the obvious advantage of helping you to avoid staining everything. The water also helps you to separate skin from the seeds as the seeds sink to the bottom, and the whitish fibres float on the surface! Skim these off before collecting your harvest in a sieve.

Making the most of the pomegranate seeds

You should now have a good handful of juicy seeds which are ready to eat! You can start by using the ruby red jewels to top your cereal or your salad, for a fresh and fruity kick that looks as good as it tastes! You can also use the pomegranate seeds to decorate desserts or add a special touch to prosecco based cocktails? Pomegranate is also the star of the show in many poultry and game recipes – perfect for celebrating the winter season.

Pomegranates are traditionally cultivated in the Mediterranean and the Middle East, but now also in South Africa, Chile, Argentina and Brazil, which makes sense as they hate frost, and prefer warm dry climates. In our part of the world you can keep a pomegranate plant in pot in a sunny spot on your balcony or garden, just make sure to bring it into the house for the winter.

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