How to open a pomegranate

Growing up in small-town Michigan no one knew what a pomegranate was, much less how to open one. (ok, maybe not “no one” but none of my friends) I considered myself privileged because I knew this awesome fruit. This magical seed-filled, clothes-and-floor-staining deliciousness.

And I had my mother to thank. See, mom grew up in Northern California where pomegranates grew in people’s yards like the oak and maple trees did in Michigan. So when she was growing up and she wanted one she just had to go to the tree in her yard and and pick one. Have a seat, crack it open and enjoy.

We didn’t have that luxury. In fact, what I remember almost as fondly as the process of her opening them was her complaining about the size, quality, and price. Of course the price. Which I get now – to have to pay for inferior fruit as an adult when while you were growing up it was free and delicious and in your back yard would be frustrating. Yet that didn’t stop us from buying them when in season and enjoying them.

We were taught how to open a pomegranate without cutting into the seeds. It’s actually painful for me to see someone just cut it in half like an apple. All those broken seeds and their juice spilling out everywhere… :(

I’ve had a few people ask me how to get into a pomegranate with as little waste as possible. I’ve explained it – but this time I thought I’d take a few photos as I went and really outline it. Step by step.

It’s a little thing of pride to be able to open a pom without slicing a single seed. As it turns out this time I nicked the top of 1 seed. But just 1. And not so much that it was a lost seed.

(you know, at this point I’m laughing pretty good here. It’s a funny thing to be so proud of being able to open a pomegranate without cutting the seeds… Not that I think I’m superior for this. It’s more the pride in being taught how to do something well, and it’s the same something that your mom does well. It’s like, passing on some sort of [odd] family tradition.)

So – first. Pick up the fruit and choose a flat part. In between each slightly raised edge the whole way around. I generally aim for the largest, smoothest spot. Then insert your knife shallowly… like this

Then repeat on the other side so you’ve notched it out like this… (see how I nicked the top of that one little seed.)

Next gently score it all the way around. You aren’t going deep here – just through the outer skin.


Next it’s like cracking an egg. Thumbs on the flat white part and pull apart. (photo credit to Cody on this one)

Then it gives and you get this…

At this point it’s picking the seeds out and peeling away the white part. The seeds pop right out if you use your thumb and bend them sideways. I like to put all the seeds in a bowl (eating a few as I go of course) and then sit down with the whole bowl. Which I’ve been known to eat in one sitting.

So that’s my little how-to post. Passing on info I learned when I was younger. Honoring the traditions passed on from parent to child, no matter how small they are. :)


(on a side note – all photos were taken with my iphone and edited with ps express on my phone. which marks off this month’s iphone post in my 101 in 1001 list)

About Danielle Nielsen

I am a photographer who loves to bring out the best in you and your life. Capturing those little moments that make you special are my favorite. I am an "on location" photographer and available for travel anywhere you'd like photos taken.
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14 Responses to How to open a pomegranate

  1. Mai says:

    Awesome! An educational post – this blog has it all! Will try this out. And they look so beautiful inside. :)

  2. Karlo says:

    Victory! I will now be able to consume a pomegranate thanks to you.

  3. Erin says:

    Cool! I didn’t know how to open a pomegranate. Might have to try one now!

  4. Nate Perkes says:

    LOOOOove me some pomegranates!

  5. Daniel Cruz says:

    I love this insight! haha My family gets down on these as soon as it comes back from the store. Thanks for sharing this, as the little things mean the most sometimes!

  6. Tami Griffis says:

    I love this blog post! I think you may be better at opening them than me. Thank you for passing this essential knowlege on, especially to those people who just chop through. Reading this and seeing those pretty seeds makes me want to go buy one dispite the ridiculous price :)

  7. Beth says:

    I love this. I think I won’t be afraid to buy one now :) Any tips on picking one out? Are they ripe when picked or choose by color?

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