Re: [gardeners] Pomegranates

Ron Hay (
Mon, 23 Oct 2000 08:32:36 -0700

Good morning, Carol,

I think I might be able to field this question:)  Our baby tree, which
has been in the ground for about 18 months has just borne 3 "Wonderful"
variety pomegranates, ranging in the above-mentioned sizes. One of ours
has split and I am about to open it and the others (plus one I snatched
from a brokers' open house at a vacant home, two weeks ago) today.

I have been reading extensively on Middle Eastern cooking and have just
finished the best ever treatment of pomegranates, their juice and
pomegranate molasses that I have found anywhere, in Sonia Uvezian's
_Recipes and Rememberances from an Eastern Mediterranean Kitchen_, U. of
Texas Press, available at

are ripe. If the seeds you see though the crack are ruby red, it is
certainly ripe.

If you want to obtain the seeds without staining everything in sight,
slit them carefully, in quarters, lengthwise, and then open them under
water. That way you will lose much of the juice not captured in the seed
pulp, but if the seeds and the greater majority of of the juice
contained by them is what you are after, it really doesn't matter.

To juice them for personal enjoyment, take one, roll it on a countertop,
then make a slit in the side, suck on the slit, squeezing gently. Then
open it, as described below, and enjoy either the seeds as they are, or

If you wish to make more juice, the easiest way is to treat them as one
does passionfruit: remove the seeds,  being sure to remove all of the
white pith, which will float to the surface, place them in a blender jar
and give them several GENTLE whirls, to separate the juice and pulp from
the seeds. Then, one can either squeeze them in a double thickness of
cheesecloth, or sieve through a fine, ceramic (non-reactive) colander.

Most of the pomegranates sold in the U.S. are sweet types, and are
usually of the variety known as "Wonderful." Occasionally, you will come
across, in private gardens, a variety known as "Utah, with pale pink,
nonstaining seeds.

Most of the pomegranates in the Middle East are definitly of the sour
pursuasion, and are often used for the making of pomegranate molasses.

If you want to make pomegranate molasses from a sweet variety, use one
tablespoon of lemon/lime juice per cup of pomegranate juice and then
boil it down, gently, until the volume has been reduced by about 1/3. It
can then be used in a vast variety of Middle Eastern and Armenian


I hope this has helped you a bit.