Learn how to open a pomegranate without making a mess. It’s so easy and only requires a small, sharp knife and your own two hands.
I don’t know if the fact that I was born in October has anything to do with the fact that my very favorite fruit is a pomegranate.
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It’s probably a coincidence, but a very nice one for me, because I was just given pomegranates for my birthday from two different friends!
If you’ve never tried one of these ancient fruits, you should really pick one up at the market next time. If not, you’ll have to wait another year until they are in season again.
When are Pomegranates in Season?
Pomegranates need a warm climate to grow and are in season beginning in October, and can last until January. The pomegranates on my own tree never make it past October because the animals loves them as much as I do, but they keep well in a cool, dark place once picked.
What do Pomegranates Taste Like?
Their flavor is so unique, but so sweet and wonderful. If you taste a pomegranate, and it is sour or not flavorful, unfortunately, you haven’t sourced a good one. To me, pomegranate arils (each individual seed is called an aril) look just like a beautiful shimmering jewel.
You may also enjoy my “how to eat a kumquat” post.
Just as you can get a bad tasting apple or orange, it happens with pomegranates too. I’ve found that POM brand pomegranates are consistently sweet and delicious; if you can find POM in your market, it’s a good bet it will taste how a pomegranate is supposed to taste. (This post is NOT sponsored.)
I could get into the history and nutritional benefits of pomegranates (powerhouse of antioxidants, for one thing). However, I’m actually posting this to show you how to open a pomegranate. I’m stunned by how many people have never tasted this super fruit, or don’t even know where to start in order to eat one.
Here’s the way my mother taught me to open them. I’ve seen all sorts of other methods, including cutting through them with a knife (very messy and sadly wasteful), smacking the outside with a wooden spoon, which also creates a mess, as well as opening them under water (simply unnecessary.)
How to Open a Pomegranate: the Easiest, Least Messy Way
Equipment: you’ll need a stain proof work area/clothes and two bowls (one for arils and one for the skin). You will also need a small, sharp knife.
Step by Step Directions in How to Open a Pomegranate
1. Take a conical shaped part out of the bottom end of the fruit, as shown (avoiding cutting too deeply and breaking into the arils). The bottom is the crown looking end, away from where it was attached to the branch.
2. Score marks from the bottom to the top of the pomegranate so the fruit is marked into quarters, as in the photo.
3. Insert your thumbs into the opening at the bottom of the fruit, and gently pull apart. Do this over a bowl to catch any falling arils.
4. Break the pomegranate into halves,
then into quarters.
4. Now gently remove the arils from the skin and pith with your fingers, placing the fruit in a bowl and the discards in another.
How do I Eat Pomegranates?
Pomegranates are fabulous just eaten as is. Just grab a few arils and pop them into your mouth, chew them up and enjoy. There’s no need to spit out the seeds. During pomegranate season, I often have a bowl of pomegranate arils on the counter and snack on them all day long.
What Can I do with Pomegranates Once I’ve Learned how to Open a Pomegranate?
Pomegranates can be used in so many ways, but if you’re like me–there won’t be too many left to use–as I eat them all before they make it into anything! However, if you’ve never had a pomegranate martini, you’re missing out. My neighbor makes a really good pomegranate jelly, too, They are also great to make juice, cocktails, garnishes for fall dishes, dessert, or wherever you just want to add a bright dash of color and flavor.
I hope you’ll give pomegranates a try this season, and that you’ll love them as much as I do. Now you know how to open a pomegranate without making a mess.
How to Open a Pomegranate: The Easiest, Least Messy Way
Step by step directions to easily open and deseed a pomegranate.
- 2 bowls
- 1 sharp knife
- Take a conical shaped part out of the bottom end of the fruit, as shown (avoiding cutting too deeply and breaking into the arils). The bottom is the crown looking end, away from where it was attached to the branch.
- Score marks from the bottom to the top of the pomegranate so the fruit is marked into quarters, as in the photo.
- Insert your thumbs into the opening at the bottom of the fruit, and gently pull apart. Do this over a bowl to catch any falling arils.
- Break the pomegranate into halves, then into quarters.
- Now gently remove the arils from the skin and pith, placing the fruit in a bowl and the discards in another.
Pomegranates can be eaten as is, or pressed for juice, to make cocktails, jelly and much more.
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I think that you have a point about seasonal food and birth month. I blow hot and cold with pomegranate, although I do adore their molasses, and I once had some ambrosial freshly squeezed pomegranate juice in Rome.
Oh if you ever try a super sweet and fresh pomegranate, there’s nothing like it, Helen. Unfortunately, many times they are sour and not that good. I’ve had that juice in Rome, too!! Delicious!
I have confess that although I love the look of a pomegranate, its taste doesn’t appeal to me! Great tips here though for when I do use them in cooking :)
I wonder if you’ve ever had a truly fresh, sweet and ripe pomegranate, though? Makes all the difference in the world!
I absolutely adore Pomegranates too! Eventhough I ate them all the time growing up, it’s harder to get my hands on them now. But I agree, they look like beautiful jewels for sure!
I’ve never tried this method… I used to to the messy way, then the “hit it over with a spoon” way, next time, I’ll be trying this! Thank you Christina!
Yes, I see lots of different “methods” online! Under water approaches and so many strange ones! Hope this is the last one you have to try! Thanks, Dini!
I love your description of this wonderful fruit Christine! I lived for several years in California’s Central Valley – outside Fresno. My husband’s parents had 10 acres of pomegranates, and as newlyweds, we were so spoiled with an endless supply! I have to admit hating to break them down, but I do occasionally force myself to do it… Your method looks helpful, and I will give it a try next time. I love to use the arils in salads during the holidays.
You are soooo lucky! They truly are my favorite fruit, Tamara.
one of the most beautiful fruits on the planet! this morning, while walking my dog, I saw 2 trees full with pomegranates! they look like paintings! love the tutorial. :-)
I agree! LIttle jewels of fruit! So glad you like my post, Valentina! Thank you for stopping by! ;)
Fabulous! Thank you.
You are so welcome, Cathy!