Here are some facts and tips from the Pomegranate Council, San Francisco, about the seed-filled fruit.

  • You never have to determine if they are ripe. They only come to market ready to eat.

  • Each fruit contains 800 seeds.

  • Choose pomegranates heavy for their size.

  • Most of the fruit you get comes from California’s San Joaquin Valley.

  • They grow on shrub-like trees with vivid orange-red flowers and glossy leaves.

  • One medium fruit yields about ¾ cup of seeds and ½ cup of juice.

  • Refrigerate seeds and/or juice up to three days.

  • Freeze juice or seeds in single layers on trays up to six months in airtight containers.

Here’s an effective way to remove the seeds:

  • Cut pomegranate in half vertically.

  • With the cut side up, make four equally spaced cuts 1 inch long and 1 inch deep.

  • Hold the fruit half, cut side down, over a deep bowl and pull the fruit open but not apart, using equal pressure from both hands.

  • Holding the fruit half, cut side down in the palm of one hand, whack the top of the fruit with the back of a large spoon. The seeds will fall out.

  • Follow one of these two methods to release the juice from the fruit:

    • Place 1½ to 2 cups of seeds in a blender and blend until liquefied. Then pour the mixture through a cheesecloth-lined strainer or sieve.

    • On a hard surface, press the palm of your hand against a pomegranate and gently roll to break all of the seeds inside (crackling stops when all the seeds have broken open). Then pierce the rind and squeeze out the juice or poke in a straw and press to release the juice. Note: You can roll the fruit inside a plastic bag to contain the juice that leaks through the skin.