The pomegranate (Punica granatum) is a fruit-bearing deciduous shrub or small tree in the family Lythraceae that grows between 5 and 10 m (16 and 33 ft) tall.


I remember seeds from childhood, how it became a treat when unwell. Being sick quite a bit, both flavour and texture stuck in memory for many years. Coming back to it with children of my own, buying pre-seeded was, for a while, used for convenience. However, the single-use plastic containers were an easy target to remove as the push towards a greener lifestyle was adopted. Now, fruit is attacked in its own container and decanted into storage. It has become one of the joys of food preparation, and an exercise in mindfulness.

Husband calls these things brains, and when the top’s sliced from the fruit, the comparison is understandable. If Wikipedia is to be believed, the French term for pomegranate, grenade, gave its name to the military grenade. It is easy to see why. The greatest thrill for me is tacticity of seeds, how delicately one must handle them to release from the pith. Most sane people simply tap the fruit’s skin and they’ll easy detach, but where’s the fun in that? The only downside is the first three fingers of right hand are permanently stained from juice. Vanity cares not for clear skin: taste buds and mental calm beat appearance most days.


It takes about fifteen minutes to prepare two day’s worth of fruit that is then summarily dumped in early-morning porridge the next day. A large fruit will suffice for three days, considerably cheaper than its pre-packaged alternative. Tiny red droplets of flavour are brilliant contrast to the oats: there’s coconut milk in the fridge today which will be added as an additional twist with next week’s breakfast. After deconstruction, it is time to stare at the detritus with wonder.

The hollows left by these seeds are beautiful, sensual affairs. Organisation is faultless, tessellation of countless, random growths. No two fruit are the same to deconstruct, each one an exercise in care and attention.

This has become a favourite, comforting ritual.

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