Choosing the right pomegranates for your everyday use can be quite tricky if you don’t have basic knowledge about it, but do not worry. This article has you covered and you can still learn how to choose pomegranates that are fresh and delicious.
Pomegranates are highly regarded as nature’s edible jewels because of their beautiful ruby-like red arils. These arils are actually the seeds of the pomegranates that we eat.
In this article, you are going to learn all the tips and tricks to pick the tastiest pomegranates out there. It’s simpler than you think it is.
So, let’s get started on the journey to explore more about pomegranates and select the best one out of them.
1. What is a Pomegranate?
Before starting this journey of selection, let’s explore more about pomegranates.
Pomegranates are round, red-colored fruits filled with small juicy, and tart seeds.
As said before, these seeds are called arils. The arils of pomegranates are not only tasty with their burst of sweet-tart flavor but also are rich in nutrients.
Moreover, pomegranates are widely known for their fresh and unique taste.
Pomegranates are packed with various nutrients, antioxidants and loaded with vitamins, especially vitamin C and vitamin K, fiber, folate, iron, potassium, and so on.
2. Common Ways Pomegranates are Eaten
Pomegranates being a versatile fruit can be used in different types of cuisines or dishes.
Below are some ways pomegranates are used:
2.1. Having it Fresh
Deseed or pop all the arils out of the fruit and eat them as a snack. Also, enjoy the juicy and sweet-tart taste of the fruit.
Pomegranates are widely used in an array of beverages all around the world. Some of them are:
Pomegranate has always been a popular choice among people when it comes to juice.
Whether a pomegranate smoothie or a pomegranate-based delicious juice, people all around the world prefer either.
Additionally, pomegranates are one of the famous ingredients in alcohol.
This is because of the refreshing flavor and the vibrant red hue it gives to the drink.
Tea from pomegranates is amazing and yummy. Also, being a caffeine-free drink, it can be enjoyed both cold or hot.
The arils of this citrus fruit add a burst of flavor as well as color when added to the salads.
Whether a green salad or a grain-filled salad, it suits both of them.
Pomegranates are used in some cuisines to add a sweet and some tinge of tangy flavor to the sauces and marinades.
However, Ttese are most specifically used in the Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisines.
2.5. Desserts and Sweets
The arils of pomegranates make a delectable topping for desserts and can be used as a topping for tarts, pies, cakes, and pastries.
Be it an ice cream, pudding, or simply a yogurt, just de-seed the arils from the fruit and then it can be added to them.
Some Indian snacks also include pomegranate seeds or arils as an ingredient for their dishes.
The seeds of this fruit can also be used for making a huge variety of chutneys and paste, providing a unique twist to any dish.
2.7. Smoothie Bowls
Also, pomegranate seeds are also a great companion to the currently famous dish, smoothie bowls.
The seeds or arils of this fruit can be used to decorate the large bowl as well as to elevate the deliciousness of the smoothie bowls.
2.8. Used in Indian Dishes
This versatile fruit is used in a variety of Indian snacks to add sweetness and tanginess to the dish.
These are most commonly used in recipes:
2.8.1. Dahi Vada
Dahi Puri is simply a type of chaat that is made up of donut-shaped balls and yogurt mixed with various chutneys and spices.
The balls are filled with yogurt which is generally sweet. Dahi means “curd” in India.
Here, pomegranate seeds are added for the taste and to elevate the presentation of the dish.
2.8.2. Bhel Puri
This dish is made up of puffed rice, chutneys, and a variety of vegetables.
Also, the arils are most often de-seeded and sprinkled on top of it to enhance the taste.
2.8.3. Pomegranate Raita
Pomegranate raita is not a traditional snack or a main course dish, but a great side dish that is served with different Indian meals.
This recipe is made up of yogurt, arils, some spices, and herbs mixed together and it has a refreshing taste of its own.
2.8.4. Fruit Chaat
It is a popular dessert, somewhat similar to a salad. This Indian recipe is made up of different fruits mixed with spices and yogurt (which is optional).
Pomegranate seeds or arils are added because this contributes a sweet and tangy flavor to the chaat.
2.8.5. Pomegranate Lassi
Though this is not a snack, this is an amazing Indian non-alcoholic drink.
The seeds of the pomegranate or pomegranate juice are combined with curd or yogurt to make this drink.
This yogurt-based drink is always a refreshing option during hot days.
3. How to Choose Pomegranates?
To enjoy one of the juiciest and tastiest pomegranates, it is essential to have a general knowledge of how to choose ripe pomegranates, that are flavorful.
The selection of the correct, ripe pomegranate is done the same way we pick other fruits like bananas, avocados, mangoes, oranges, apples, strawberries, and so on.
3.1. Inspecting the Color
Go for a pomegranate that is deep red and consistent in color.
The pomegranates whose skins are dark shades of red, and reddish-pink and are heavily rich in these colors are perfectly ripe.
Remember to avoid the pomegranates with pale, green, or yellowish patches, as they may either be under-ripe or overripe.
3.2. How to Choose Pomegranates?: Weight Matters
Choose a pomegranate and feel its weight. Moreover, if a pomegranate feels heavy then, it has a higher juice content.
The heavier ones are generally juicier. Additionally, opt. medium-sized pomegranates. This is because they tend to be juicier than any other smaller ones.
An unripe pomegranate always feels light when held.
For a more perfect pomegranate bowl, carefully hold several pomegranates of similar size and then choose the heaviest one from them.
3.3. Texture Matters
Hold a pomegranate gently and then run your fingers over its surface. If the surface is smooth then, the pomegranate is perfectly ripe.
On the other hand, if the surface feels bumpy and rough to your fingers then, avoid them.
This is because these pomegranates may have some quality issues.
3.4. Glossy Skin
Pick a pomegranate whose surface is glossy, as this indicates that it is a ripe fruit.
Also, avoid eating pomegranates that look dull and dry as these might be dehydrated or have past their prime.
3.5. Check the Skin
Another easiest method to choose the correct pomegranate is by examining the skin of the fruit thoroughly.
Gently squeeze a pomegranate. If the pomegranate skin is firm but not too tough like a rock.
It yields slightly to pressure but is not too mushy, then the pomegranate is correctly ripened. Simply, remember that the leathery skin of the fruit is the skin of ripeness.
Additionally, avoid pomegranates that are too tough or hard-like rock, as these might be underripe.
Also, avoid cooking or eating those whose skin has any bruises or wrinkles, as they might be aged.
3.6. How to Choose Pomegranates?: Examine the Crown
Check the crown of the pomegranate, where the stem of the fruit is attached to the pomegranate tree.
Go for a pomegranate whose crown is dry and attached firmly.
Avoid the ones whose crown is green or moist, as these may indicate that the pomegranate is underripe. The moist or soft crowns also are the signs of decay.
3.7. How to Choose Pomegranates? : Sound
For making a sound test, carefully and gently tap on the fruit’s surface with your knuckles.
After tapping, if it makes a hollow and clear sound just like a drum, then the pomegranate is a ripe one and if it sounds dull, then the fruit might be under-ripe or completely dry.
3.8. Fragrance Check
Another way to check the fruit’s ripeness is by doing a fragrance check.
To do that, hold a pomegranate, bring it to your nose, and smell it. If it produces a fruity and subtle fragrance, then it is one of the ripest pomegranates.
But if the pomegranate is odorless, then it is possible that the fruit is not fully ripe.
3.9. How to Choose Pomegranates? : Considering the Season
Pomegranate season generally comes in between the late summer and early winter.
These are the times this fruit grows the best. Picking pomegranates at the time of their peak season increases the chances of getting a ripe and juicy fruit.
3.10. How to Choose Pomegranates? : Shape Matters
Remember that the ripe pomegranates are most likely round and plump.
So, when holding a pomegranate, carefully check if it feels perfectly round and symmetrical.
An uneven and irregular shape indicates that the fruit may either be not fully ripe or contain some quality issues.
4. Conclusion: How to Choose Pomegranates?
In summary, choosing the right pomegranate involves a lot of careful consideration. Whether it might be regarding the fruit’s color, skin texture, weight, shape, fragrance, and so on.
By following the tips mentioned in this guide and considering the season, you will get your answer on how to choose a pomegranate and will be able to pick the best ones out there.
While choosing pomegranates from any fruit shop or grocery store, you can also ask for help from the shopkeeper or salesperson.
With their valuable assistance, you can pick out the perfect pomegranate.
Selecting the right pomegranates for cooking is certainly beneficial, as these may not only elevate your taste buds with their unique and refreshing flavor but also provide health benefits and valuable nutrients to the body.
C.Sikta is a dedicated business student with a passion for commerce. Beyond the textbooks, she find comfort and inspiration in writing. With a keen eye for detail and a love for words, she effortlessly balances her academic pursuits along while crafting insightful and captivating content. Her dual talents in business and writing set her on a promising path to success.