Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Things Best Done Naked. Number 476.


November is National Pomegranate Month, according to beverage manufacturer PomWonderful. That's just a marketer's way of saying they're in season. You may have noticed that these sensual scarlet fruits are suddenly prevalent at your local market. They have been appreciated for millenia, and for all these years one question has persisted: How best to open a pomegranate?

I have a friend who cuts it in half with a butcher knife, then uses an empty wine bottle to smash the seeds loose into a bowl of water. It works, I suppose, but his kitchen looks like a crime scene by the end. Another friend of mine forcefully massages the fruit until most of the seeds have burst, then tries to drink the juice through a small hole in the rind.

As for me, I'm a lover, not a fighter. I try not to break a single fragile, beautiful seed. I use a sharp knife to cut it into quadrants, but I cut only as far as the tough skin. Then I pry the fruit open and gently coax out the seeds. Some come tumbling out easily, others cling to bits of pith.

Inevitably, the translucent skin around some of the juicy seeds is bound to break. And when it does, the juice squirts high and far. I ruined several nice shirts and a pair of pants before I realized that the red stains can never (never!) be washed clean. The only thing I have noticed is not stained by pomegranates is human skin. So now I strip down completely before attempting this procedure. (Socks are allowed.)

It's practical, it's painless, it's fun. But unless you have a lock on your kitchen door, it's safest to take care of this before the dinner guests arrive.

4 comments:

itzktb said...

This post has driven me INSANE! This post HURTS me! You have captured the sheer perfection of the Pomegranate, and to be up that close to perfection, well, it makes me want to rip open that beautiful red fruit and devour it whole! But I have two problems with that. One is, I truly doubt I could ever find the pomegranate of my dreams, the one that exists in my memories, and the second problem is, if I actually DID find that perfect pomegranate, I think the peeling it open and experiencing all that perfect juiciness in all those tiny little shiny red seeds made by GOD or the UNIVERSE or WHOEVER, but certainly not by ACCIDENT... well, it may just be a little more than I'm able to handle.

Thanks,

Katie

NYC

Jeffrey Stock said...

I'm so glad to see your comment, Katie. Thanks for that. I'm not surprised to read that the pomegranate post hurts you because, as you well know, to love is to suffer.

itzktb said...

Thank you for understanding me, Jeffrey.

Riley said...

Hey, Jeff.

I have to blow up that close-up of the pomegranate seeds and hang it on my wall. Next time you're in the Boston area, come sign it.

I had half a wonderfully ripe pomegranate this morning, and I can't wait to finish it tomorrow. It's just like relishing a good novel.

I didn't discover pomegranates until about three years ago, when someone brought a tub of seeds to a party. All those wasted years...

This is my first look at this blog. I'm not a foodie, but your gorgeous photos draw me in. I'm going to have to try some durian soon.

It must be cool to spend time in the places where such interesting food originate. (I was thinking of tropical lands, not Whole Foods, but I suppose those who don't live near a Whole Foods envy you that, too.)

-Riley