Thursday, December 13, 2007

Aril Liberation

I've been very sick with a head cold all day (acute viral nasopharyngitis, I'm sure), but it turns out that opening up a pomegranate for the first time is a fairly good activity when you're feeling ill, because it's somewhat mindless and yet you get to dissect a new lifeform, which is interesting. I decided to use the pomegranate submerged in water method, because I just have too much white in my kitchen and I wasn't feeling particularly brave. Hopefully you will all enjoy the play-by-play.
This is after I sliced off a narrow chunk and started to break it apart with my fingers. The red flesh covered seeds are called arils.
Here you can see the difference in the pith-like substance and the thin membranes between areas of fruit.
I was about half-way through at this point.
All done. Then all I had to deal with was a big soggy mess. Fortunately, most of the membranes and the pith float, for the most part, so I was able to skim off most of it with my cupped hands.
I put it all in a strainer, washed most of the little bits down the sink and then slowly rolled the arils into another bowl. I had to pick off more derbis as I transferred it, but it wasn't too bad.
I'd say the whole process took an hour or so, but I'm guessing it wouldn't take nearly that long the next time. If nothing else, I should be a lot peppier and the task will seem a lot less daunting. The pomegranate is very tasty, of course and I'm sure it's good for me when I'm sick, too. Thanks again to GEE for giving me the fruit and all of the rest of you who contributed anticipatory comments.

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