The red pomegranate fruit has inspired wonder since ancient times. It appears in the Book of Exodus, the Koran, the Homeric Hymns, and Mesopotamian cuneiform records since the third millennium BC. Egyptians saw it as a symbol of prosperity and ambition, while the ancient Greeks called it “the fruit of the dead,” having sprung from the blood of Adonis. And if you believe in the mythology of Persephone, it’s why we have winter.
Doesn’t it seem odd that a fruit so old and so rooted in the global culture would have largely disappeared from modern eating? It wasn’t until 2002 when Pom, the miracle antioxidant drink, burst onto the scene that pomegranates really took center stage in our American life. Praised for eons by India’s Ayurvedic medicinal system as a remedy for everything from stopping nosebleeds to heart disease and even cataracts, the pomegranate seems like it should be in all of our daily rotations.
Here’s the problem: It’s not an easy fruit. The tough skin has to be cut through to reveal the bounty of plump seeds, which must then be plucked from a webby membrane. Those seeds are delicate, and if they burst, they stain. So it seems that it has taken us those thousands of years to arrive at this bit of ingenuity: the Pomegranate Tool (available at Kowalski’s for $19.99).
Simply cut the pomegranate in half, place it seed side down on the grid over the bowl, and smack the back of the fruit with a wooden spoon. The seeds pop out easily into the bowl, where you may harvest them, stain-free, and sprinkle them in your salads, dash them in a spicy soup for balance, or top a bit of vanilla ice cream with a few for a tangy boost.
The ancients would be proud.