I know that eating a fruit may not seem like our typical New Experience, but Leah is a foodie. She constantly wants to buy new foods in the supermarket and tries to persuade me into buying it by saying, “It could be a new experience!”
When she pointed to a pomegranate last week, I relented. Seeding and eating a pomegranate really is an undertaking. The bin of pomegranates in our supermarket actually had pamphlets attached entitled “How to Open a Pomegranate.” Any fruit that lists 6 steps before “Enjoy” on a pamphlet definitely counts as a New Experience in my book!
I was actually excited to share this New Experience with my children. I have fond memories of eating pomegranates as a child. I see pomegranates in the supermarket all the time now, but I don’t think they were widely available when I was a child in the 1980′s. My father worked in Manhattan and would sometimes come home with a treat for us after work. Usually, it was something from Odd Lots like a slinky or a Rubiks’ cube, but around Christmastime, he would come home with pomegranates he bought at a fruit stand.
For some reason, we called them Chinese Apples back then. I thought my dad made that term up because he didn’t know their real name, which is something he has been known to do. However, I just Googled it, and to my surprise, I just learned that Chinese Apple is a legitimate name for a pomegranate. It’s a British term. I have no idea where my Brooklyn-born-and-raised father would have come across British English, but maybe that is how the fruit stand labeled the pomegranate back then.
Anyway, I have fond memories of this fruit being special. So, I hoped my children would enjoy seeding and eating pomegranates as a New Experience.
Leah loves to cook, so she dove right in and got her hands messy. I helped her with the knife, but she took over as soon as the pomegranate was split. Luke, on the other hand, was not excited about the process of seeding this fruit. Its juice looked like blood to him, and he didn’t want it on his hands. He used the knife carefully, but he did not want to put his hands in the water to separate the seeds from the membrane.
I took over Luke’s pomegranate while he watched. Seeding this pomegranate really was a pain in the neck. Now I know why pomegranate juice is so expensive. It’s a lot of work to get the seeds out. After the fruit is cut, you have to pull out the seeds in a bowl of water and pick out the membrane that floats to the top.
Once Leah and I were totally done picking out the seeds, Luke helped strain them. We sat down to enjoy our fruit. Unfortunately, none of us really enjoyed it. We ate a few seeds, but didn’t like the hard center in each one. The juice is delicious, but the seeds are not our favorite fruit.
At least we gave it a try. I’m taking the leftovers to my dad tomorrow. We did all the work for him. He can just enjoy his Chinese Apple seeds!
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