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Pomegranate Measures and Cooking Tips

Pomegranate juice will stain

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Pomegranates

© 2006 Peggy Trowbridge Filippone
The fall season brings the harvest of one of the oldest fruits as well as richest in history and folklore: the pomegranate. Once you get past the multitude of seeds, its juice is tangy, sweet, rich and flavorful. This juice becomes the base for sauces and flavorings for drinks, savory dishes, and sweets, while the whole seeds are a simple delight eaten fresh or used as a colorful garnishing accent.

Pomegranate Cooking Tips

Since pomegranate juice has an acidic, citrusy flavor, try substituting it in citrus marinades, either whole or in part, for a flavor change.

If you don't wish to bother with the fresh fruit for juice, you can always thank the French for their original grenadine, a thick red syrup made from pomegranates. Grenadine is non-alcoholic and is most often used in cocktails such as Tequila Sunrise and as a flavoring for the kiddie drinks known as Shirley Temple and Roy Rogers.

However, most of the grenadine found in bars today contains no pomegranate in the ingredient listing, but primarily consists of citric acid, natural flavors and coloring. Go figure. Unless you're willing to pay the price for true grenadine that includes pomegranates in the content listing, you might want to try your hand at making your own homemade grenadine.

Concentrated, unsweetened pomegranate juice or paste is made from the reduced juice of sour pomegranate seeds. It is known in some ethnic markets as pomegranate molasses. It lends a tart flavor to dishes.

Be forewarned that the juice will stain not only your fingers but also your clothes, which is why it has been used as a natural dye by many cultures. Wear an apron when working with the fruit since as you cut it, the juice may naturally burst out in a stream and potentially spot your clothing. Stains should wash out with pre-wash treatment in most cases, but better safe than sorry.

Some cooks also report that pomegranate and beet stains can be removed from the hands with a baby wipe. You may also wish to use rubber gloves to avoid pink fingers.

The juice will also stain plastic containers, so use glass or disposable plastic bags or containers.

A new variety of pomegranates with white seeds and non-staining juice is now showing up in markets.

Avoid using aluminum and carbon steel knives or cooking vessels with pomegranates as they can turn the juice bitter.

Pomegranate Equivalents and Measures

One medium pomegranate should yield 1/2 to 3/4 cup of whole seed pips or 1/2 cup juice.

More about Pomegranates and Pomegranate Recipes:

Pomegranate Cooking Tips and Measures
Pomegranate Selection and Storage
Pomegranate Peeling and Juicing
Are pomegranate seeds edible? FAQ
Pomegranate History
Pomegranate Legend and Lore
Pomegranate Recipes
Pomegranate Photo © 2006 Peggy Trowbridge Filippone, licensed to About.com, Inc.

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