I've shared my love of fresh pomegranates with you in the past, but I haven't shown you how to get all those yummy juice filled arils (seeds) out of them. Some people like to cut the whole fruitin half, which is fine, but it cuts right through a ton of those juicy arils. Here's what I do - first I cover my tablecloth with newspaper (the food section works particularly well). I also put on a grubby shirt, just in case.
Okay, now I'm ready to get started. I make a very shallow x-cut in the top, being very careful not to cut deep enough to pierce any of the arils.
Next I follow the lines of the x-cut down the sides of the pomegranate, using just the tip of the knife to score the skin (again, not going deep enough to cut any of the arils).
Then I gently pry the pomegranate apart where I made the x-cut (a blunt butter knife might be helpful the first time you do this). Once you get your thumbs in, it will pull apart very easily. You can see the entire pomegranate is filled with hundreds of juicy arils separated by layers of a papery thin membrane.
The arils come out very easily, leaving just the skin and membrane behind. One word of caution - I once did an entire case of these at one time and my hands were dry and stained for a couple of days afterward. I don't bother to wear gloves when I open just one, but I would if I were to open a large number of them again.
And here are the arils. I got just over 1 1/2 cups worth from this pomegranate. We sometimes sprinkle them on salads or desserts, but our favorite way to eat them is just the way they are.
The next time you see a pomegranate at the store, I hope you'll give it a try!