One of my annual indulgences this time of year is to eat pomegranate seeds. Pomegranates show up in the grocery store around the beginning of November, and a huge display of them is there until mid-December sometime, I guess. Maybe later than that. Here is the mythology behind the pomegranate, with which I am well acquainted because of my affiliation with Chi Omega.
They’re somewhat labor-intensive to prepare, because you have to stand over the sink and peel the seeds out of the membranes and into a bowl. And then when you eat them, you don’t chew — you crush them against the roof of your mouth and then swallow the seeds whole.
I remember the first time I saw someone preparing a pomegranate. It was my junior year in college, and there was a strange girl from Long Island living on my hall. Sororities at Duke are not — or weren’t at the time — residential, so Greeks and independents all lived together. I always liked that, because we didn’t live “in a vacuum,” so to speak — there were all kinds of people sharing the dorms with us, rather than just living and eating and socializing with the same people all the time.
Anyway, this girl: she was also in a sorority, but not the same one as me. I remember that she took forty-minute showers, lived in a “single” (without a roommate), and was constantly studying for the MCAT even though she was just a sophomore and wouldn’t take it for at least another year. She was very reclusive. But one night, she stood over the bathroom sink and carefully peeled the membranes of this strange-looking fruit, presumably to go back to her room and probably pick at the seeds all night while studying the ATP cycle or something. She was always nice to me, though. She couldn’t understand why I wasn’t as career-driven as she was (admittedly, I was an oddity at the school I chose), but she still talked to me when we were both in there at the same time.
So I asked her about it, and she gave me a few seeds to taste. They’re like liquid Sweet Tarts with little chewable seeds in the middle. Very good, but very strong. And the acids in the juice are pretty strong, too. Good for you, apparently. And somewhere in the last few days, probably in Cooking Light, I read that pomegranates are high in fiber.
I need fiber. Lots and lots of fiber.
So today, since I was NOT wearing white or anything light-colored (pomegranate juice STAINS…. BADLY), I decided to have one of my pomegranates. Yum. They’re always a special part of my year.
And they always make me think of my ChiO sisters. Love you, ladies! 🙂