How to Eat a Pomegranate

November 17th, 2009

pomegranates

1. Pomegranates are a lot of work, but they are worth it! The ripest most perfect pomegranates are available in grocery stores now. The POM Wonderful brand pomegranates are the biggest and have the best flavor. Look for the roundest, deepest red pomegranates you can find.

cut a pomegranate

2. Rinse your pomegranate in water and cut an X in the top about halfway down the fruit. (If you are an impatient pomegranate eater (like me) and don’t mind making a mess—stop here! You can stick your thumbs in the center of the X and pull the peel apart, revealing the delicious seed jewels. Stick your face in there and chow down! Expect to splatter magenta juice all over your face and surrounding furniture. To make less mess continue on to step 3 after cutting the fruit.)

pomegranate

3. Set your pomegranate in a big bowl of water, place your thumbs in the center of the X, and pry the peel apart.

peel a pomegranate

4. While the pomegranate is submerged use your fingertips to carefully brush the seeds away from the membrane. The seeds will sink to the bottom of the bowl and the empty membrane will float. The water keeps the seeds from flying across the kitchen as you remove them, and it keeps any bursting seeds from squirting in your face! When breaking the peel into smaller pieces to reach all the seeds, hold the fruit seed side down in the water to keep the mess to a minimum.

how to eat pomegranate

5. Once the seeds have been removed use a strainer to scoop the remaining membrane from the surface of the water. Then, strain the water from the seeds.

how to eat a pomegranate

6. Enjoy!

50 Comments

  1. o_O So that’s what the inside of one looks like. Pomegranates are so weird.

  2. P.S Pretty photography!

  3. Wit & Whistle

    Haha! Yeah, I guess they are weird. But sooo goooooood!

  4. Jenna

    You are a flipping genius. The mess is why I never buy them. I am going to try this technique and report back!

  5. one of my favorite salads in the world is shaved fennel, pomegranate, oranges and pecorino cheese with a little olive oil and lemon. it’s delicious!

  6. Daniel Kim

    I’d pour in extra water to make the bowl overflow, carrying the floating bits away, rather than trying to strain them out.

    I’ve always seen pomegranates as more trouble than they’re worth. This may tip the balance for me.

  7. PhoenixGirl

    You can make it even easier, and a bit less messy if you add one more cut. Start by cutting the top off (the top has the stemmy thing), cut about .5″ down or so. This way you can see where the membranes are – instead of cutting in quarters, cut down the membranes (usually 5 sections). It opens it up even more & makes it easier to separate.

  8. I love these things, but man, they make a huge mess – until now! I’m trying this today!

  9. Veruca

    Love your tip. I always make a mess and wind up with so little in my hands… Thanx!

  10. Bilal

    Just had to add… those are some beautiful hands. :)

  11. Thanks! I love poms, but find them too messy to bother. I will try this and once again enjoy this delicious fruit!

  12. This is really helpful, thanks. My kids like this fruit and the health benefits (tons of Vitamin C plus the fact that poms seem have quite a high level of antioxidants which are effective in combating free radicals thought to cause heart disease and cancer) certainly make this a worthwhile snack!

  13. Brad

    I eat a pom every day from late Oct through Nov. The cuts described go straight through the seeds ruining those cut. A better way (without ruining any seeds or causing a mess) is to:
    - Core the top fuzzy thing out with a triangular cut (try shallow first, deeper if there is still some of the fuzzy stuff in the top remaining).
    - Score the pom with shallow cuts so that it will break into 2 main pieces. Make the score marks go along the tops of the ridges (every pom will have some degree of star shape when viewed from the top – score along the star points).
    - Put both thumbs into the scored top and pull/break it into 2 pieces.
    - You can now begin flicking off seeds with your thumb. Breaking the pom further will be obvious (you will improve with experience). Sometimes more score marks help when breaking down further.
    The only reason the process becomes messy is when the seeds get mushy from being overripe or bruised.

  14. MarkS

    Actually, this is more difficult than another method I’ve found to work:

    Cut the fruit in half, then use the back of a wooden spoon to literally knock the seeds into a bowl. A firm hit knocks the majority of them free without breaking. Just rotate the half, facing down, as you hit with a spoon in different spots.

    Sure, there may be a couple seeds left deep in there, but you don’t need a bowl, a strainer, and all the time pulling the seeds out. It actually makes it less a chore than an orange.

  15. Mehdi

    I am an Iranian American who’s made quite a few trips to the Pomegranate capital of the world, Saveh, Iran. While your technique is useful, it is messy. The simplest and cleanest way to extract the pulp within a pomegranate is to simply half the pomegranate and turn the pulp side down facing a bowl. Simply take a spoon and slap the back of the pomegranate with the back of the spoon. You will watch the steady flow of pulp into the bowl. Clean and easy.

  16. Wit & Whistle

    I’m going to try the hit-it-with-a-spoon method on my next pomegranate. It sounds almost too good to be true! Thanks for all the tips!

  17. Rob

    Poms were made to enjoy eating slowly to appreciate the lingering flavor. We would eat them walking to school by peeling a section of casing off and then fishing out the seeds with a long pin.. devouring them slowly one by one from the pinpoint.

    In todays world I suppose that would be too dangerous.. letting kids even hold a pin is almost criminal. Plus the world is at a too hurried pace now.
    Your loss !!

  18. Gouloutch

    Interesting technique !
    The pomegranate is my favorite fruit, and I have to agree with Brad and others : the best way for me is to respect the fruit by breaking it according to the inner membranes’ shape.
    With some experience, it’s possible to eat every grain without sacrifying any of them.
    When I was young, my mother used to say that eating this fruit is a pleasure AND a game :-)

  19. Here in Spain the ‘hit-with-spoon’ method is also found.
    I also suspect that once the skin is removed a lye solution might dissolve the rest…

  20. Kendal

    I find the following works really well.
    1. Spend the first few years of your career setting aside some funds for an investment.
    2. When the time and opportunity present themselves, make your investment, and gradually amass a fortune.
    3. Buy a small island and populate it with servants (any kind of servant will do).
    4. Have the servants prepare your pomegranates.

    This not only minimizes the mess you make, but you can mix it up a bit to get different results;
    - Have a servant feed you the pomegranate seeds.
    - Buy a farm and have the servants grow the pomegranates for you.

  21. Dacker

    I just got a flat of eight large poms at Costco this weekend for just $12.50. I’m going to have to try the water trick — and definitely the slap-with-a-spoon trick too.

  22. Wit & Whistle

    8 for $12.50?! I’m jealous!

  23. yjc

    Thank you so much for this tip. I’ve been peeling and dropping pomegranate seeds all over the place. Definitely trying this out.

  24. Glenn

    I use Brad’s method, except no knife.
    I have recently started using the bowl of water to get the last bits of membrane though.

  25. nanthara

    kendal .. u rock …way to go :)

  26. the pomo membranes have anti-cancerous nutritions. Though they are not sweet, they are very healthy…

  27. Suresh

    Easiest way to do it:
    (1) Cut the pomegranate in half.
    (2) With a spoon, keep tapping on the shell with a plate underneath.
    (3) In minutes, all the seeds would pop out into the plate.

  28. Mike

    Awesome tutorial.. I have one question however.. I grew up where we get these off the tree and was told that you are not to actually eat the seeds but rather just get the fleshy, juicy parts off and then spit the seeds off. What is your take on this? Eat it all or spit out the seeds?

  29. Wit & Whistle

    I always eat the seeds. It’s always good to have a little extra fiber in your diet! The only problem is that sometimes a seeds will get lodged between my teeth, but it’s nothing dental floss can’t fix.

  30. win now

    Hi! Nice site you got there!

  31. maria

    Can’t wait to try! Awesome!

  32. geoff

    good idea – but fails on the best part – the wonderful juice when you (accidentally) crush the little seeds (which i end up spittin’ out anyways). Also, hate to say this, but the best part of this fruit is taking it apart. It’s cool the way the little seed cling to the membrane – it’s like your operating on some alien’s brain…lol

  33. Ram

    As a couple of people mentioned, tapping a half cut pom with a spoon or a small sized scoop ladle works way better than this.

    When you put the pulp in the water and drain it away, a good % of the nutrients will also get washed away in the water (No solid reference though, but i have heard/read). It is a common practice to wash fruits and vegetables well before cutting them and one good reason is this.

  34. I’ve heard about this way to peel pomegranates before but I’ve never tried it. For some reason it just seems more work to me to fill a bowl with water, strain out the seeds and other stuff rather than clean the kitchen :)

  35. Wit & Whistle

    I just tried the “hit-it-with-a-spoon” method. It didn’t work for me at all! I cut the pom in half, held it over a bowl and tapped the back with a spoon. I ranged from soft taps to flat out walloping the thing and only a few seeds fell out. Is there something I’m missing?

  36. zakaria alahmed

    NiCeeeeeee

  37. john maze

    This is the real fruit of Adam & Eve
    as apples are not from middle east area.
    Best antioxidants for your body and the beginning of defiance & evil in the world

  38. the best way is to roll the fruit until the seeds have been broken on the inside (you can actually hear them snapping) then make a little cut and suck the juice out……when your done you can open the fruit and there are still seeds that have not been crushed but you don’t have a big mess.

  39. idc

    dude its just fruit……..

  40. Tanya

    WRONG!!
    this is more than fruit…this is the legend… the sweet slightly bitter taste of heaven….the sticky juice splattering your chin……how can you say this is JUST A FRUIT… you have commited a sin fellow pomengrate lover!!!

  41. Wit & Whistle

    I completely agree Tanya! : )

  42. My husband bought us a pomegranet. I have never opened one and had no clue how it should be done. I Googled and found this site. Lots of good information. One question: If I decide to cut it in half and try using a spoon to knock the seeds out, should I cut it across the middle or up and down like the photos of scoring before pulling one apart?

    • Amanda (wit & whistle)

      I’m not sure. I’ve never been able to get the hit-it-with-a-spoon technique to work! :)

  43. Looloo

    Thaaank you, this is pure gold! I had been watching the pomegranate for 3 days, trying to decide the right approach, when most beloved Google brought me to your most useful site :)

  44. chooch

    I’ve just purchased my first pomegranites and am really wondering are the seeds edible? and if not, is there a way to get the juice extracted from the seeds? I tried boiling them and crushing them through a seive, but didn’t really obtain much juice. HELP?

    • Amanda (wit & whistle)

      You can eat the seeds whole! I can’t imagine not eating the seeds, that would be so tedious. Enjoy!

  45. Andrea

    I like the idea of an x shape cut , just ate one 4 the first time, I’m 35 and in Florida and cut across with a single stroke like the passion fruit I got from the same market, the sections peel off easy , the red things are sweet not bitter like a cranberry they like a sweet cranberry if you can imagine such a thing. The rind is bitter bite it and toss it trust me.

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