Have you ever picked a pomegranate?
Have you ever picked a pomegranate? I have. Then, I watched, absolutely astounded, as Marin, the fourteenth-generation farmer opened a pomegranate, easily, and without spilling a drop on his pristine white shirt. That day’s tour of the stunning farm in the foothills of Klis Fortress, just outside of Split, Croatia, held many delights (really, you have to go on this experience), but the most practical thing I learned that day was how to open a pomegranate without my kitchen looking like that scene from the Shining.
I had to try this way to open a pomegranate!
On that week’s trip to Split’s Green Market, I made sure to pick up a pomegranate, which were in season, along with my other goodies. I got back to my apartment, cut into the gorgeous loaf of bread from the bakery up the street, made a little pool of black honey that I’d brought with me from Tara Canyon Montenegro, and put my newfound knowledge to the test: I opened a pomegranate.
I was stunned. It worked! Part of me was convinced that there was some secret that Marin had just internalized from those thirteen prior generations of Croatian famers and made it look easy. Nope, it really is that simple. This is how to open a pomegranate, friends.
Opening a pomegranate can do a number on your kitchen
Have you ever seen the Shining? That scene is what I thought of the first time I attempted to open a pomegranate. What. A. Mess. After that, I looked up some how-to tutorials, and I got a lot better at it. Still, I could have showed you where an errant aril or two burst on my wall in my old place (including when I made Maple Glazed Brussels Sprouts).
I have seen the light, and I will never open a pomegranate another way.
How to open a pomegranate the easy way
First, Marin told us, you take a sharp paring knife and cut around the top, being careful to just cut through the skin. You twist off the little pomegranate hat. You’ll see the white pith lines in the pomegranate.
“See?” Marin said, “The pomegranate tells you where to cut it.”
You then cut down the pith lines, carefully, just going through the skin (if you go too deep, you’ll get the Shining).
Breaking open the pomegranate
You can then break open the pomegranate by gently pulling it apart from the outside, revealing all of the sections. Marin demonstrated this for us. Personally, as I am eating these on my own, I prefer to pull a section out at a time and then just eat that (plus, it does reduce the risk of mess, should the knife have gone a little too deep—we cannot draw on multiple generations of Croatian farming experience, after all).
Caution is still warranted
I’m still not trying it without a cutting board, or while wearing a pristine white shirt (I’m not to be trusted with coffee, let alone pomegranate juice), but I am a superfan of this easy way to open a pomegranate.
I think you will be too.
Put your knowledge of how to open a pomegranate to work!
You can put your pomegranate opening skills to use with this week’s recipe for Spiced Pomegranate Sorbet! There’s a bonus recipe for subscribers, too, that will make it even better!
How to Open a Pomegranate
- 1 paring knife
- 1 cutting board
- 1 pomegranate
- With a sharp paring knife, cut around the top of the pomegranate, just going as deep as the skin. Using a twisting motion, remove the top
- You will see white lines of pith. Using the lines as a guide, cut down the length of the pomegranate, again, just going through the skin (if you go too deep, you'll burst arils)
- Pull out a section by placing your thumb on along the skin on the top and pulling gently, but firmly. Remove any white pith to expose the airls. Repeat