Pomegranates sustain my life force throughout the winter. I crave that juicy goodness, impossibly red even when it stains my fingertips, and the satisfyingly crunchy mouth feel. The juice is packed with vitamins, and the seeds with healthy oils. And no, I do not buy juice nor even the cleaned, pre-packed seeds – I take an entire pomegranate and clean it out by hand.
Neither do I violently whack it like Jamie Oliver seems to prefer (not only is it brutal, it is messy and still leaves lodged-in seeds to be dug out afterwards). Instead I cut off the top and bottom, slice the fruit in two along the vertical ridges (where it naturally splits with light prying), and then split both halves again. The seeds come out by turning the clusters inside out. Soaking the quarters in water before starting helps if the fruit seems dry.
Coaxing pomegranate seeds out of their shell is gentle, methodical work. The more one rushes or exerts pressure, the worse the outcome (and the mess!). Perfect mindfulness practice for winter days – and the reward is a bowlful of summer energy.
(Copenhagen, Denmark; December 2020)