The etiquette rules on how to serve and eat pomegranates. Tips to be the ideal host or the perfect guest and avoid any embarrassment.

What pomegranate etiquette is

Pomegranate etiquette is the set of rules to properly serve and eat pomegranates. Such rules help avoid behaviors that can disrespect your hosts or guests, or make you look unpolite.

If you are hosting, follow the etiquette to serve pomegranates to your guests appropriately.

As a guest, respect the etiquette rules to properly eat pomegranates at the dining table and avoid offending your hosts or embarrassing yourself.

how to serve and eat pomegranate

What you should know about pomegranates

Pomegranates are a fruit that grows on a deciduous shrub or small tree native to the Middle East and South Asia.

Pomegranates are round, with a diameter of about 2-5 inches, and have thick, leathery skin that ranges in color from pink to deep red or purple. The inside of the fruit is filled with small, edible seeds surrounded by a membrane, with a tart, slightly sweet flavor, and a crunchy texture.

Etiquette rules to serve and eat pomegranates

1) How to store pomegranates

Pomegranates should be stored at a cool, dry place at a temperature of about 50-68°F (10-20°C). In the pantry, they can last for about a week. In the fridge, they can last for up to 2 months when stored in a plastic bag or airtight container. Frozen pomegranate seeds can last up to 6 months when stored in an airtight container or freezer bag.

Store sliced or cooked pomegranate in the fridge for up to 3-4 days. Keep it in an airtight container or wrap it in plastic.

2) How to clean pomegranates

To clean a pomegranate, cut off the crown and then score the skin around the circumference of the fruit. Submerge the fruit in a bowl of water and break it apart, then remove the seeds and membrane from the water. There are some risks involved in cutting pomegranates due to their tough skin and the potential for staining, but using a sharp knife and wearing gloves can help minimize these risks.

Signs that a pomegranate has turned bad include mold or a bad odor. The fruit may also feel mushy or soft to the touch.

3) How to prepare & cook pomegranates

Pomegranates can be eaten raw or cooked. To prepare pomegranates for cooking, they can be juiced or the seeds can be removed and used in salads, marinades, and sauces. The most common appliances used to prepare pomegranates are a sharp knife and a bowl for collecting the seeds. Common ways to cook pomegranates include roasting, grilling, and simmering in stews and curries.

Pomegranates are popular in a variety of dishes, including salads, sandwiches, and grain bowls. You can also use them to make juice, smoothies, jam, and preserves.

They are generally suitable for vegan, keto, and paleo diets. However, some people may have allergies or intolerances to pomegranate, and it is always best to check with guests regarding any dietary restrictions. There are no religious dietary restrictions that forbid eating pomegranates.

4) How to serve & present pomegranates

Pomegranates are appropriate for a variety of occasions and meals, including formal and informal meals, breakfast, brunch, and snack time. You can serve them as a fruit course or dessert.

Served them at room temperature or slightly chilled. You can present them in a decorative bowl or plate, and use a small spoon or fork for eating the seeds.

You can serve pomegranates with a variety of flavors and seasonings, including cinnamon, mint, honey, and citrus. They can also be paired with nuts, grains, and herbs to create a more complex dish.

5) Food and wine to pair pomegranates with

Pomegranates pair well with a variety of fruits and vegetables, including apples, pears, grapes, avocados, and leafy greens. You should avoid pairing them in dishes with strong flavors that may overpower their delicate taste.

You can pair them with cheese and dairy too. Some of the best cheese pairings are feta, goat cheese, and ricotta. As for dairy, pomegranate goes well with yogurt and cream cheese. The cheese and dairy pairings that should be avoided are those with strong, overpowering flavors that can clash with the sweet-tart flavor of pomegranate.

Pomegranate goes well with meat, particularly with lamb, beef, and pork. It also pairs well with chicken and duck. The best fish pairing with pomegranate is with salmon. Avoid seafood pairings with delicate flavors that can be overpowered by the fruit’s strong taste.

Pomegranate pairs well with a range of wines and beverages. Some of the best red wine pairings include Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah/Shiraz. For white wine, Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay are excellent pairings. Pomegranate also goes well with sparkling wine, particularly Brut, as well as with Rosé wine, dessert wine, beer, and spirits such as vodka and gin.

6) How to eat pomegranate

The most polite etiquette for eating pomegranate is to use a small spoon to scoop out the arils, or seeds. It is also acceptable to eat the arils with your fingers, but it is polite to do so over a plate or bowl to avoid making a mess. The white pith and peel should be discarded, as they are not edible.

Pomegranate etiquette: the worst mistakes

The Rude Index identifies and ranks negative behaviors. 

A high score (8-10) means that the behavior has the potential to trigger a conflict with others. A medium score (4-7) means that the behavior risks making you look inelegant and unsophisticated. Read more about the Rude Index and its methodology here.  

Avoid the most common pomegranate etiquette mistakes:

  • 8/10. Not properly cleaning the fruit before serving.
  • 6/10. Not providing a plate or bowl for discarded pith and peel.
  • 6/10. Not properly cutting the fruit to make it easy to eat.

Additional information for properly serving pomegranate

How many calories per serving?

Counting calories is important to stay healthy and correctly plan a menu.

A single pomegranate contains around 234 calories. Per 100 grams, a pomegranate contains around 83 calories.

How to buy the best pomegranate

A crucial factor in pomegranate etiquette is serving your guests the best product possible.

Season and availability 

Pomegranate is available all year round, but the peak season is from September to February.

Choose the best

Pomegranates can be found in a variety of forms in commerce, including fresh, canned, bottled juice, and dried arils.

Some of the most popular varieties of pomegranate in commerce include the Wonderful, the Haku Botan, and the Mollar de Elche. The Wonderful variety is considered the most prized.

When buying pomegranates, look for fruits that are heavy for their size, indicating that they are juicy. The skin should be smooth, shiny, and free of blemishes. A ripe pomegranate will also have a slight give when pressed.

Alternatives to pomegranate

Some common alternatives to pomegranate include cranberry, cherry, and raspberry.