A friend posted a video on Facebook this morning, with a nifty trick for deseeding a pomegranate in 10 seconds. (Here’s the link: http://lifehacker.com/5895852/deseed-a-pomegranate-in-10-seconds-using-a-wooden-spoon?fb_action_ids=10201806583901516&fb_action_types=og.likes&fb_source=other_multiline&action_object_map=%7B%2210201806583901516%22%3A10150693076022356%7D&action_type_map=%7B%2210201806583901516%22%3A%22og.likes%22%7D&action_ref_map=%5B%5D) I’ve also read that freezing a pomegranate makes the arils (or seeds) easier to separate from the pith.
But sometimes maybe it’s worth taking the time to slowly peel a pomegranate.
Pomegranates come into the story of Seeker of Stars as a delicious fruit but also as a metaphor. Pomegranates are native to Persia (today’s Iran) but have been cultivated around the world since ancient times, including in all the possible places where the magi may have come from. Here’s where they come into the story:
Daria excused herself and returned with a pomegranate from the tree outside. “Eat this,” she commanded. I shook my head, but she insisted. “They’re very good this year. Try one.”
Obediently I stripped the pomegranate of its leaves, cracked the outer casing with my teeth, and peeled the fruit and pith from its shell. I filled a small bowl with water and cracked the pieces of pith underwater. Tiny rubies fell to the bottom of the bowl and I fingered them out from under the floating casing and put several in my mouth, feeling them explode with tart sweetness. I smiled as I savored the bite. “There are no pomegranates like the ones at our oasis!”
Daria goes on to liken the pomegranate to one of the characters who is “rich in spirit and mind and heart, but she keeps herself hidden away, just as the fruit of the pomegranate is hidden behind layers of hard casing.” She then encourages the narrator to take the time to get to know the depths of the character who is like a pomegranate.
Pomegranates are in season right now and they are delicious. I like the fun techniques for being able to eat them more readily, but I also want to remember that pomegranates — and people — are worth the work they take.