Pomegranates are native to Persia, now called Iran. They are one of the oldest fruits grown with evidence reaching back as far as 2000 B.C. In the United States they enjoy the drier climates of California and Arizona. Earl’s pomegranates are coming out of Arvin, CA which is about 30 minutes south of Bakersfield in the San Joaquin Valley. The season typically runs from September to February.
The outside of a pomegranate is very hard and only the inside arils which cover the seeds in a red translucent material are edible. It may seem like a lot of work to get to the arils, but it is well worth it. Cut off the top and bottom of the fruit, score the fruit and then open it into two halves. Place the halves in a bowl of water and use your fingers to gently separate the seeds from the white, spongy membrane. The inedible white membranes will float to the top of the water and leave you all the delicious arils at the bottom. Be careful not to get the juice on your hands and clothes because it will stain.
Look for pomegranates with a full bright red to dark red color. You also want fruit that feels heavy for their size, which means they are super juicy. Drastic changes in temperature from cold to hot or rain can cause the fruit to crack. This is not a bad thing! In fact the fruit will be bursting with juice and ready to go!
Pomegrantes are full of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties which researches believe may help to reduce high cholesterol and high blood pressure. I like to sprinkle arils over a spinach salad. The green and red together make a beautiful salad during the holiday season. Please share your recipes on our Facebook page.