With an exotic fruit like pomegranate it’s totally safe to ask what does pomegranate taste like? Pomegranate arils taste a lot like cranberries—fairly tart with a bit of sweetness underneath.
Pomegranates are used in savoury and sweet dishes, and are very popular in Israeli, Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, Indian and African cooking. Pomegranate juice is also extremely popular and both used in cooking and also available bottled for straight up drinking and use in cocktails and mocktails.
Pomegranates are round, bright reddish-brown fruit roughly the size of a large naval orange, with a thick leathery smooth skin. Inside the fruit are hundreds of little tiny pods called arils, which are the size of small corn kernels and filled with bright red juice and a crunchy little seed inside.
Pomegranate seeds and juice are both sweet and tart in flavour. Like citrus fruit, pomegranates taste very refreshing and can be bold in flavour. Ripe pomegranates tend to be a little sour and the flavour is often compared to ripe cherries. These fruits have also been compared to tasting a little like sweet grapes.
Love Pomegranates! Aside from that intense ruby colour which is so beguiling it’s the complexity of the sour sweetness (or is it the sweet sourness?) that becomes an addiction. Think about all the Sours that are out there: Citrus, Vinegars, Tamarind, Calamansi, etc. Well Pomegranate is basically a Sour that is also sweet, so anywhere you use a Sour you can substitute Pomegranate
The process of working with pomegranates and getting to its juice or seeds can be very intimidating. But so very worth it, promise, promise.
Before beginning, make sure you have on an apron to protect staining of your clothes (or wear an old unloved shirt) and if possible, a plastic (not wood) cutting board to prevent the juice from staining your surface. If you want to prevent any temporary staining of your hands, wear some cooking-compatible plastic or rubber gloves.
Start by cutting off a thin slice of the bottom so that the fruit can stand securely. Then cut around the crown (end with the “blossom” sticking out) at a slight angle into the top of the fruit so that the top comes off and there is a slight dip into the pomegranate. Use your knife and from top to bottom, cut just through the red skin but not into the seeds. Continue this 5 more times at equal segments so there are a total of 6 cuts/sections. Using your fingers, place them into the top’s concavity and pry open the pomegranate which should fall into 6 open sections.
At that point, gently separate the seeds from their sections over a large bowl filled halfway with some cold water. As the seeds fall into the bowl, they will sink to the bottom while the white membranes will float to the top. Then simply skim the membranes from the water, drain the water from the bowl and eat!