Just as the holiday madness begins to come around, so do fresh pomegranates. Enjoying these tart, tannic red globes, with their garnet-hued, jewel-like arils, is a festive way to celebrate the end of the year. Want to know more about buying, preparing, and enjoying pomegranates? Then read on.
Depending on the harvest, pomegranate season typically runs from October through January or February. When selecting pomegranates, look for a ripe, deep-colored fruit with a red to reddish-brown outer rind that is heavy for its size. The fruit, when stored in the refrigerator, will last three to four weeks unopened. But once seeded, pomegranates should be enjoyed within two to three days; they can also be frozen in a sealed bag for up to a year.
Pomegranates don't offer the most instant gratification of all fruits. Their tough, leathery shells open to reveal clusters of seeds, or arils that are plump with juice — but covered in inedible pith. Since they can be a mess to seed, the best way to open a pomegranate is to submerge it in water to avoid splattering juice.
Aside from snacking on the satisfying arils out of hand, you can also:
- Add bites of tart, juicy crunch into a dip of mango guacamole.
- Enjoy eating the seeds in a persimmon or butternut squash salad.
- Garnish soups with pomegranate seeds to counterbalance texture.
- Highlight the fruit's brightness in a sweet-sour sauce with chicken.
- Pucker up to a seasonally appropriate mistletoe mojito.
Have you ever had pomegranates before? What are the different ways you enjoy them?