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How to eat pomegranate? Carefully

A reader wrote recently with a pressing seasonal question: Could you discuss how to eat a pomegranate and how to cut it? I love the seeds, but it is difficult to cut it so I can get to the seeds.

There really is no easy way to peel off the red leathery pomegranate skin to get at the clusters of ruby red juicy seeds. Use a sharp knife to carefully slit the skin apart so you can break the seed clusters away from the skin and the white membrane. Any way you do it, a mess and stains are the likely result.Reader Peggy Lamms' solution to the pithy pomegranate peeling problem is to dissect them while they are immersed in a big bowl of water. They way they can't squirt you.

- John Lehndorff