Friday, February 28, 2014

Mmm, pomegranate ...

Pomegranates contain delicious, snappy little bits of tart-sweet goodness that burst when you bite. A lot of sources, like this report from the Washingtonian, claim that they're practically a superfood. "... high in antioxidants, and clinical trials have found they may play an effective role in the prevention of heart disease and cancer. They also aid in lowering cholesterol levels and fighting cell damage ... One pomegranate contains approximately 50 percent of your daily recommended vitamin C, as well as pantothenic acid (B5), which may help with muscle cramping and prevent insulin resistance."

But it sure is hard to butcher one!  The time and effort spent in cutting the leathery little guys open, popping out the seeds ("arals"), separating the edible bits from the papery bits, and cleaning up the mess afterward, makes a lot of us think twice, or three or four times, about making the noble pomegranate part of our daily routine.

Whenever I make the effort, though, I'm glad I did.  I generally just cut off the top, then cut the fruit into four or five wedges and pop out the arals, discarding the papery bits as I go.  You can check Google ("how to seed a pomegranate") for tons of tips, though. Here's a curious video showing an English-accented alternative from Jamie Oliver's kitchen.

Finally, how do you pronounce the word?  Three syllables ("Pom-gran-it") or four ("Pom-uh-gran-it"), like the British narrator in the video? The Merriam-Webster Dictionary allows both but prefers four.