Are some fruits just not worth the trouble? I believe that the time has come for us a society to agree to retire pomegranates -- which started popping up at grocery stores over the past two weeks.
The fruit, typically in season from October to January, will be the subject of cocktail recipes and lauded for its antioxidant properties, but the act of removing the seeds makes you understand what life was like with Hades.
It is also difficult to trust a fruit that doesn't ripen once it's picked -- it makes you suspicious, like cheese you don't need to refrigerate. Also, pomegranates should have been classified with the seeds rather than the fruits. With every other fruit, we pick out the seeds or core it to get at the edible flesh. With a pomegranate, you're forced to peel and hack at the flesh to separate out the seeds.
And the final pay-off isn't likely to be worth the effort, particularly early in the season when pomegranates tend are more tart than sweet. You want to pick fruits that are round, rich in color and without blemishes. However, two pomegranates that are identical in appearance could differ wildly in sweetness. It's like a fruit lottery, where the only potential winner is your compost heap.
With such a wide variety of fruit options, it would be OK to let this one fade into myth, something that we tell our grandchildren about in 30 years. The one they never believe about how grandpa used to spend hours attempting to get a single seed to garnish his salad.
[Image via Flickr: arthur chapman]