Nature’s most labor-intensive fruit is about the size of a large orange and has a thin, leathery skin that can range in color from red to pink-blushed yellow. Inside are hundreds of seeds packed in compartments that are separated by bitter, cream-colored membranes. Each tiny, edible seed is surrounded by a translucent, brilliant-red pulp that has a sparkling sweet-tart flavor. Pomegranates are grown throughout Asia, the Mediterranean countries and in California. In the United States they’re available in October and November. Choose those that are heavy for their size and have a bright, fresh color and blemish-free skin. Refrigerate for up to 2 months or store in a cool, dark place for up to a month. To use, cut the pomegranate in half and pry out the pulp-encased seeds, removing any of the light-colored membrane that may adhere. Pomegranates can be eaten as fruit, used as a garnish on sweet and savory dishes or pressed to extract the juice. They’re rich in potassium and contain a fair amount of vitamin C.