Packed with antioxidants and loaded with Vitamin C, potassium and fiber, pomegranates are often described as one of the super fruits. (The juice has merits, too, but it doesn’t include the fiber.)
And they’re gorgeous. The seeds — the only part you eat — sparkle like rubies; BuzzFeed’s food blog described them recently as “nature’s bling.” In season from September to February, they light up dark days of winter.
But how do you get to the seeds? It can be a messy, inefficient affair. There’s a lot of good help online — and it comes from pomegranate-loving cultures around the world. Most can be found with a quick YouTube search.
Peshwaz Faizulla demonstrates a method from India that begins with cutting off the top (“scalp it, like a human being”) and scoring the sides and ends to create sections you can pull apart like an orange. The seeds can then be released easily “so you can give them to your beloved.” At JustATaste.com, Kelly Senyei emphasizes keeping your hands and kitchen clean — pomegranate juice stains things — by seeding it submerged in a bowl of water. New-agey Evan Rock has a no-water method that treats the fruit like a naughty child: “You’ve been a bad pomegranate," he scolds, spanking out the seeds with a wooden spoon.
But to get the most fun along with your Vitamin C, tune into Crazy Russian Hacker, a self-described “natural zombie killer” whose video is aggressively entitled “You’ve been eating pomegranate wrong all your life.” Standing in what looks like a vacant lot, wearing a dirty T-shirt and wielding a vicious-looking knife more suited to a zombie movie than a kitchen, he speaks in a heavy Russian accent, beginning with “this is a — ‘pomagan’? How you pronounce this?” and ends by eating seeds exuberantly by the handful. But his method works.
The January issue of Runner’s World is all about planning for a year of successful marathons. It features a list of the best races launched in the past five years, based on how fast the times were, how good the scenery is and how lively the socializing is.
The list also covers a broad geographic range. In June’s Utah Valley Marathon, for example, runners spend the first third of the race more than a mile above sea level before a gentle descent to Provo. The Tobacco Road Marathon in March is mostly on a crushed-granite rail trail through the North Carolina pine woods. The Illinois Marathon in Champaign-Urbana in April ends dramatically on the 50-yard line of the University of Illinois’s football stadium. (Runners can check their stats on the 36-foot-high scoreboard.) The Rockfest Marathon in October winds along a large chunk of New Hampshire’s coastline. The Santa Barbara Marathon in November offers glimpses of the Pacific and keeps California’s Santa Ynez Mountains almost continually in view; this seems to be the splashiest of races, starting with a flyover of World War II fighter planes and featuring kettle drums, orchestras and bagpipers performing along the route.
Elsewhere in the magazine, the editors offer advice on goals and training, plus a wish list for 2014. Beginning with hopes for a good Boston Marathon, where bombers killed three people and injured hundreds in 2013, it ends with the wish “that a lack of incidents will allow an easing of race security.” Ditto that.