The other day I was working with a person from Japan. Among the items for my lunch was part of a pomegranate I had sliced in two the night before, to make it easier to eat. Yum! This person watched me as I pulled a section off and pulled off a few arils/seeds with my teeth (I didn't want to stain my hands). I felt a little self-conscious. This person kept watching me. I took a second bite.
"Excuse me," this person asked somewhat timidly, which is not their usual confident and forceful manner of speaking. "But did you just eat the seeds?"
I replied that, of course I ate the seeds because that is the fruit.
"No, no. I mean did you swallow the seeds inside the fruit?"
This person explained that there was a pomegranate tree in the family yard in Japan. The proper way to eat a pomegranate is to just tear it open - "do not cut it, just tear it apart" - and then bite some of the fruit. But to spit out the hard seed in the center!
"Yes. Do not eat the seeds. Spit them out."
Huh. I had no idea. I finished the half of pomegranate eating it in my own way. But I never before even considered sucking the red portion off and then spitting out the seed. But I guess that is how they do it in Japan. Kind of like a watermelon except with the melon the proportions of seed to fruit is vastly different!
Illustration from ThisNext