There are many a videos out there on how to open up a pomegranate, many I think advocate using water to help separate things out. Tried it, don't like it. I thought it actually made things harder. And it still left a little "tail" of white stuff (apparently called albedo) that I always had to go back and pick off.
To help out those who haven't done it before, or simply share the way I go about opening it up, I tried to take some photos along the way. I've never timed how long it takes, but leaves me with more of the beautiful arils and less of the albedo attached to the arils. I tend to do such things like chopping veggies or opening a pomogranate while watching a favorite show or, if i need some inspiration, the foodnetwork. Yesterday we had the Bones marathon... So here you are, take it or leave it :)
I start by cutting off the stem end, and scoring along the "edges" of the fruit. I know they are not true edges, but it's not round, more like a polygon :) maybe 5- or 6- sided? Don't go too deep, but just enough to cut through the tough skin. If you put pressure on the knife, you'll feel it's a little tough through the skin, then it will get easier--STOP! You've reached the goodness that lies within.
Then, using the scoring, I try to pry segments apart. The first is always hardest, but work it a little bit and it'll come apart.
Then I just pop the arils out of the membranes (or catching them as they fall away), pulling out more segments from the fruit as I go along. Did I mention it's good to have a container ready?
They say to look for fruits that are heavy for their size. Vague, I know, but if you pick up two, and one feels heavier, take that one. If not, your guess is as good as mine! I don't think I've gotten any that are entirely bad, sometimes if it's sat around too long there are parts that aren't good, but those are easily avoided. I have seen stores selling arils themselves, out of their skin, if you prefer to go that route! Whatever you do, enjoy the antioxidants :)
I just love the crunchy bursts of flavor these arils provide to any dish. The contrast is especially nice when paired with a smooth ingredient like yogurt, panna cotta, mousse, or even white or dark chocolate. How about in guacamole or a salsa or two for your upcoming football parties? They can dress up a salad or side dish (acorn squash, sweet potatoes, carrots, brussels sprouts, you get the idea). Add some flair to your main dishes. Don't forget to try them in your baking! I haven't thrown them in a stew our soup, but hmm, now that's got me thinking... They also look good with melty cheese. Alright, I need to stop with the link/idea love, it's getting me hungry!!
Here's to a happy, healthy, and tasty 2009!!! Hope everyone had a save and enjoyable eve :)