Sucking a Pomegranate

Sucking a Pomegranate

This title sounds provocative, but it’s not at all. There’s just not a better way to describe this fun family tradition. I wanted to share one of my more recent entertaining things to do during Thanksgiving and Christmas since most Americans have never experienced it. A few years ago one of our employees at our tea shop from the Middle East was shocked to find out we didn’t know what she was talking about when she shared this common holiday tradition, especially for the children in her country. So she brought pomegranates to the office and taught us.

We had so much fun that I surprised my family without telling them what we were going to do. It’s really an activity. Here’s what you do! Purchase whole pomegranates and let them ripen a few weeks outside of the refrigerator. Then cool them 24 hours before you want to eat them. (Right now you can find them in the states for about $2-2.50 each.)

The first part of this activity is the most important and will determine how successful you are at the end. Spend 5-10 minutes kneading your pomegranate, popping the seeds inside, careful not to break the skin. You can feel the seeds pop inside. I usually have to use the table or something for leverage. Keep kneading until the pomegranate is nice and squashy. We usually hang out in the kitchen as a group each with our own pom. Then over the sink, prick the skin in one place with a sharp knife and quickly begin sucking the cool, fresh pomegranate juice. As you continue to suck, squeeze the pomegranate to get more juice. If you do a good job of kneading it before hand, you may get a geyser, so be prepared for a mess.

The first time I experienced it, I was so delighted, we all started laughing. Juice that fresh is so delicious. It’s hard to describe how much fun it is. Today we ate our first one of this season, and I broke the skin while preparing it and had to rush to the sink to salvage the juice, sucking much of it. I finally just squeezed the rest into a glass and drank it, since I had a mess which I hadn’t planned. Maybe that is part of the fun, the risk involved if you break the skin before you’ve planned. In reality it’s a little like nursing, which is a wonderful experience for a mother and baby, so I hope that doesn’t embarrass you.

My whole life we always cut the pomegranate open and meticulously picked each seed, enjoyed the juice and then either spit it out or ate it. I’m surprised that most Americans never knew the fun way to eat this delectable fruit.

For Christmas I will be serving a Christmas Eve Salad with spinach, Romaine lettuce, pine nuts, goat cheese, blueberries, and whole pomegranate seeds, with Cookwell & Company’s Watermelon Vinaigrette dressing. Pomegranates are an attractive fruit to decorate with during Christmas and signify righteousness and fruitfulness. What a worthy thing to celebrate and pray for during this Christmas season!

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2 Responses to “Sucking a Pomegranate”

  1. Jason Witt says:

    How exotic! It seems to me that in the Middle East they have fruit like this easily available though it is an expensive luxury in America. Sounds like good clean fun to do every year because it’s so simple and natural.

  2. carol says:

    Jason, So glad you like the idea. It’s fun to do by yourself. I hope you’ll treat yourself to the experience which also brings good health.

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