why zesting citrus fruit rocks


Happy Monday everyone!

Man, it is HOT! I was going to run all these errands today but I think I might just drink lots of things with ice in them instead. Sheesh.

This happens to be more like my Saturday, since my workweek is a bit unusual. Most of us who are in the hospitality biz tend to have either a monday/tuesday or tuesday/wednesday weekend. A lot of people immediately take pity on me when I tell them this, but not only am I used to it, I’m kind of into it! I love shopping, dining, wine tasting, and going to the beach when there’s no one around but a few locals. Granted I miss out on some of the fun stuff my ninetofiver friends get to have on the real weekend, but this is something I have come to accept now that I am entering my tenth year of this lifestyle.

Anyway, on to what you came here for!

Citrus Zest

…is the best thing about your citrus fruit!  The aromatic oils that give citrus that awesome smell is in the very outermost layer of the skin – the “zest”.  If you don’t believe me, zest a lemon then squeeze the juice in a separate bowl and smell both. This is real talk.

This stuff has so many uses, and you should save it before throwing out the peels. Between the zest and the juicy interior is the “pith” which is that white fluffy layer that tastes like crap. We don’t want that.  The best tool for getting the most zest with no pith is a microplane. This tool is kinda like your traditional cheese grater…like a daewoo is kinda like the batmobile.  A good microplane is better than a standard grater because the little holes actually have really sharp blades so you’re not squashing and annihilating the fruit as you rasp. Also, the tool is made precisely for its purposes so the structure of the openings is made with thought and care. They run around $10-$20 and are totally worth it. Once you have zested the fruit, you can keep it in a small jar with an airtight lid int he fridge for a couple weeks or until the oils are no longer aromatic.

Things I use citrus zest for:

Adding citrus flavor to food – zest is awesome because you can add citrus flavor to anything without the added liquid or tartness of the fruit itself! You can infuse your own sugar or salt! Olive Oil! Vinegars! Tea! You can add it to soft spoonable cheeses (like ricotta) ! You can put it in your mayos, aoilis, and sauces! Tuna Salad! ZEST ALL OF THE THINGS!

Adding citrus flavor to BOOZE – Need I say more? You can totally get away with infusing a so-so spirit with citrus zest to make it worlds better. Try grapefruit zest in vodka…so much better than the artificially flavored nonsense out there! Best greyhound ever.

Adding citrus flavor to ICE CUBES!

Herby Lemony butter!

Linen Spray! (zest + water in a spray bottle)

See for yourself and google “uses for citrus zest”, because I could probably go on for days right now…and I have some iced coffee to make!

xo. alicia.

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