What Does Pomegranate Taste Like?

From the outside, pomegranates don’t look like anything special. But upon opening one, you’re greeted with many vibrant ruby-red seed pods that are edible. So, what does a pomegranate taste like?

The taste of a pomegranate is a blend of more sweet than sour, with a hint of tartness that adds to its appeal. It’s like biting into a burst of tangy sweetness, followed by a subtle sour undertone that balances it out perfectly.

Now, let’s get into what makes a pomegranate taste the way it does. We’ll discuss everything from the basic taste to the texture and how these elements come together in recipes and on their own.

How Does Pomegranate Taste?

When you bite into a pomegranate seed, also known as an aril, you’ll first notice a burst of juice. This juice is where most of the flavor resides.

fresh pomegranate ready to eat


The initial taste of a pomegranate is sweet. It’s a natural, fruity sweetness that’s quite refreshing. It’s not as sweet as an apple or a ripe peach, but it’s definitely noticeable.


Following the sweetness, you’ll experience a tartness that’s similar to cranberries. This tartness is what gives pomegranates their unique flavor profile. It’s a pleasant tartness, not too overpowering, but enough to make your taste buds take notice.

Sour Undertones

Underneath the sweet and tart flavors, there’s a slightly sour undertone. It’s not as pronounced as the sweetness or the tartness, but it’s there, adding another layer to the taste of the pomegranate.

Texture and Flavor

The texture of the pomegranate seeds also contributes to the overall taste experience. The seeds have a crunchy exterior and a juicy interior. When you bite into the seed, the juice is released, and you get the full impact of the sweet-tart flavor.

Variations in Taste

The taste of a pomegranate can vary slightly depending on its ripeness and the specific variety of the fruit. Some pomegranates are sweeter, while others are more tart.

But regardless of the variety or the level of ripeness, the unique combination of sweet, tart, and sour flavors is what makes pomegranates so intriguing and enjoyable to eat.

Does Pomegranate Taste Good?

In general, if you enjoy fruits that are a mix of sweet and tart flavors, you’ll probably find pomegranates quite tasty. But like any food, the taste isn’t universally loved by everyone.

  • Taste Expectations: If you’re expecting a pomegranate to be super sweet, like a ripe mango or a juicy peach, you might be surprised by the tartness of the fruit. This unexpected tartness can sometimes be mistaken for a bad taste, especially if you’re not used to eating tart fruits.
  • Ripeness: The ripeness of a pomegranate can greatly affect its taste. An underripe pomegranate can be overly tart and not very sweet, which some people might find unappealing. On the other hand, a perfectly ripe pomegranate has balance of sweet and tart flavors that most people find quite tasty.
  • Fresh vs. Frozen: Fresh pomegranates tend to taste better than frozen ones. The freezing process can alter the texture of the seeds, making them less crunchy and somewhat mushy. This change in texture can affect the overall taste experience.
  • Seed Consumption: Some people are put off by the idea of eating the seeds of the pomegranate. While the seeds are perfectly edible and packed with fiber, some people find their crunchy texture strange, which can affect their perception of the taste.

How To Make Pomegranate Taste Better

There are a few ways you can improve their flavor if you’re looking to switch things up a bit.

  • Pair with Sweet Fruits: Pomegranates have a tartness that pairs well with sweeter fruits. Add pomegranate seeds to a fruit salad with bananas, oranges, or strawberries. The sweetness of these fruits can help balance out the tartness of the pomegranate and create a more complex flavor profile.
  • Add to Yogurt or Smoothies: The tart flavor of a pomegranate can be a great addition to a creamy yogurt or a smoothie. The creaminess of the yogurt or the sweetness of the smoothie ingredients can help mellow out the tartness of the pomegranate.
  • Use in Cooking: Pomegranate seeds can be a great addition to various dishes. They can add flavor to salads, desserts, and even some main dishes. The other flavors in the dish can complement the taste of the pomegranate and make it more enjoyable.
  • Make a Pomegranate Sauce or Syrup: Cooking down pomegranate juice with some sugar can create a sweet and tangy sauce or syrup. This can be used as a topping for pancakes, waffles, or ice cream, adding a unique twist to these classic dishes.

What Does A Pomegranate Look Like?

A pomegranate is a round fruit that’s about the size of a large orange or a small grapefruit.

What Does Pomegranate Taste Like

It has a thick, leathery skin that’s typically a vibrant shade of red, although the color can vary from a pinkish hue to a deep, almost purplish red, depending on the variety and ripeness.

When you’re buying a pomegranate at the grocery store, look for ones that feel heavy for their size. This is a good indication that they’re full of juice.

The skin should be firm and free from mold, cuts, or bruises. A few blemishes or imperfections on the skin are okay and won’t affect the taste of the fruit.

When you cut open a pomegranate, you’ll find hundreds of tiny seeds, or arils, inside. These arils are packed in compartments separated by white, spongy tissue.

Each aril is encased in a juicy, red pulp, which is the part of the pomegranate you eat. The arils should look plump and glossy, indicating they’re juicy and fresh.

Is Pomegranate A Fruit Or Berry?

A pomegranate is considered a fruit and a berry. This might be surprising since we usually think of small, soft fruits like strawberries or blueberries when we hear the term “berry.

However, in botanical terms, a berry refers to a fruit that has seeds surrounded by pulpy flesh, which is exactly what a pomegranate is.

But most of us, in everyday conversation, simply refer to pomegranate as a fruit.

Fruits That Taste Similar To Pomegranate

There are a few fruits that share some similarities in taste such as:

  • Cranberries: Perhaps the closest in taste to pomegranates, cranberries also have a tart flavor profile. They’re not as sweet as pomegranates, but their tartness is similar.
  • Red Currants: These small berries also balance sweet and tart flavors. They’re not as juicy as pomegranates, but their flavor profile is similar.
  • Raspberries: While raspberries are generally sweeter than pomegranates, they also have a bit of tartness that can be reminiscent of pomegranates.
  • Grapes: Certain varieties of grapes, particularly red and purple ones, can have a balance of sweetness and tartness that’s somewhat similar to pomegranates.
  • Cherries: Sour cherries, in particular, can have a tartness that’s similar to pomegranates. They’re generally sweeter, but the tart undertone is there.

Pomegranate Recipes And Side Dishes

Here are some popular ways to incorporate pomegranates into your meals.

Pomegranate Recipes

  • Pomegranate Glazed Chicken: This dish involves glazed chicken with a sauce made from pomegranate juice, honey, and a bit of vinegar. The pomegranate sauce pairs well with the savory chicken.
  • Pomegranate and Pear Salad: This is a refreshing salad that combines pomegranate seeds, pear slices, mixed greens, and a light vinaigrette. The pomegranate seeds add flavor and a nice crunch to the salad.
  • Pomegranate Smoothie: A smoothie can be a refreshing and healthy breakfast or snack. Just blend pomegranate juice with some yogurt and a banana for a sweet and tart smoothie.

Side Dishes

  • Pomegranate Salsa: This is a twist on traditional salsa. Combine pomegranate seeds with chopped tomatoes, onions, cilantro, and a squeeze of lime juice. The pomegranate seeds add a unique flavor and texture to the salsa.
  • Pomegranate Couscous: Add pomegranate seeds to cooked couscous and chopped herbs like mint or parsley. The pomegranate seeds add a pop of flavor and color to the couscous.
  • Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pomegranate: Roast Brussels sprouts until they’re crispy, then toss them with pomegranate seeds and a bit of balsamic glaze. The tartness of the pomegranate seeds pairs well with the savory Brussels sprouts.

Pomegranate FAQs

What is the proper way to eat a pomegranate?

To eat a pomegranate, you cut it open and break it into sections. The juicy seeds, or arils, can be picked out and eaten directly.

Can you eat pomegranate seeds?

Yes, pomegranate seeds are edible and are actually quite nutritious. They have a crunchy texture and are packed with fiber.

What do pomegranate seeds taste like?

The whole pomegranate seed capsule has a sweet-tart flavor. They burst with a refreshing juice that’s a blend of sweet and slightly sour. The hard seed in the middle is earthy and can be bitter.

Is pomegranate sweet or bitter?

Pomegranates are more sweet than bitter. They have a unique flavor that balances sweetness and tartness with a slightly sour undertone.

My Tasty Thoughts

Pomegranates truly are a unique fruit. Their sweet-tart flavor and the fun, crunchy texture of the seeds make them a joy to eat.

I’ve found that their unique taste can add a burst of flavor to many dishes, from salads to main courses.

If you haven’t tried a pomegranate yet, I highly recommend it. Just remember, the taste can be a bit surprising if you’re expecting something super sweet. But once you get used to the balance of flavors, you might reach for a pomegranate the next time you want a refreshing, flavorful snack.

About Justin Micheal

Hey, I’m Justin and the home cook behind Food Meets Flavor. I have a passion for cooking and making food delicious. So, I started this blog to help others understand what different types of food taste like and how to make everyday meals taste even better.