Pomegranate

The Pomegranate Cutting Hack We’re Still Not Over

It's positively mesmerizing.

July 23, 2020
Photo by Mark Weinberg

Whenever I’m in need of help cutting particularly stubborn produce, I turn to my favorite site for food hacks: Twitter.

The social media platform has proven to be quite the resource for radical approaches to prepping fruit. Forget hot takes, looped videos, jokes with thousands of retweets. Twitter, for me, is most valuable when confronted with hard-to-cut fruit.

First it was pineapples. Then it was mangoes. Now, enter the boss-level complicated fruit: pomegranates. Those beautiful, bejeweled, ruby-speckled honeycombs could now be a heck of a lot easier to cut open.

Twitter, it seems, has the method to end all methods. Behold:

The video, of course, makes the whole affair look all too easy. I love that they don’t even take the fruit off the tree.

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Top Comment:
“I find the underwater technique the best. Easy to separate arils from pith and skin without losing juice.”
— Nancy
Comment

As far as pomegranate lore goes, there’s a whole bevy of options when it comes to cracking one open. Some suggest peeling off the rosy pebbles while submerged in water. I, myself, have even tested a rather whack-tastic method on this very site.

My roommate, Ali, claims the method in the video is the only way he would ever cut a pomegranate. In Syria, where he’s from, he tells me it’s the go-to and insists that with a thick-skinned and well-ripened pomegranate, it works every time.

I obviously had to try it out for myself.

Photo by Mark Weinberg

Well, it works and it doesn’t. I was able to cut a square around the crown and peel back the slices, almost like it was an orange; however, to say it came out as neatly as it does in the video would be a ferocious overstatement. It’s obvious, once you start cutting, that the segments are separated as such. And while running your knife along the fruit’s natural ridges does help to release the beads from the core, it’s not a clean and simple solution.

Perhaps the pomegranate at hand was not perfectly ripe? Or perhaps the skin too thin? Maybe I needed to be more confident, more deft with my knife work?

Either way, my worry faded as soon as I bit into that first tart kernel. However you peel a pomegranate, the arils are always worth it.


A Few Pomegranate Recipes to Try

Burrata & Burnt Oranges With Pistachios, Mint & Pomegranate

Burrata and juicy burnt orange make the ultimate creamy-tart combo in this fall-ready salad sprinkled with chopped nuts, fresh mint, and bright little bursts of pomegranate seeds.

Pomegranate Passion Cake

We are very passionate about this sticky almond cake, which is soaked in a sweet pomegranate molasses syrup and topped with mascarpone frosting and a generous handful of pomegranate seeds.

Yogurt Pancakes with Pomegranate

For airy pancakes with a hint of tang, add plain yogurt to the batter—we like them best with a pomegranate seeds garnish, but you can swap in just about any fruit you have on hand.

Pomegranate Flank Steak

This very versatile recipe is a ramped-up version of recipe developer Phyllis Grant's parents' go-to flank steak treatment. You can serve it over salad, tucked into a sandwich, or on a fork, straight from the fridge (like we said, it's versatile).

Sheet Pan Lamb Meatballs with Cauliflower & Tahini-Yogurt Sauce

These sheet pan meatballs are the definition of low effort, big reward: They cook in under 10 minutes, followed by cauliflower, which caramelizes nicely with help from pomegranate molasses.


Have you tried this method? Let us know how it goes in the comments below.
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Valerio Farris

Written by: Valerio Farris

Former staff writer at Food52. Current anchovy eater.

3 Comments

Antonio M. August 14, 2020
well my friends you need to be patient and use a small knife.Use the method shown on the video but make smaller wedges because the pomegranate we get in N.America is different from the one in China or Siria and has thiner skin or tighter grains of fruit. The objective is to mark and cut not too deep so you don't cut the grains and after a couple tries you get good results without underwater technique...Take your time and enjoy!
 
Jamie January 8, 2020
The author is right - it worked, and it doesn't. I still prefer the "whap the fruit with a spoon" approach for the stress releasing effect if nothing else.
 
Nancy October 25, 2019
I find the underwater technique the best. Easy to separate arils from pith and skin without losing juice.