Written by Lee Wyatt (last updated August 17, 2020)
There are all kinds of ways that citrus can be used in cooking. Besides the obvious use of the fruit itself, there is also the peel of the citrus fruit. When you look at a recipe and it calls for a zest of lemon, lime, or orange, then this is exactly what it is asking for. The zest of a citrus fruit is in all actuality really just small pieces of the peel. But the trick lies in how to get those small pieces.
There are a few different pieces of equipment that you could use to help you properly zest a citrus fruit. Listed here are the different tools that you can use to get the zest, the results of using that type of tool, as well as the best way to use that tool. Remember, each of these tools is going to produce a different result, so when you come across a recipe for zest, be sure that you pay close attention to the description so you can use the proper tool to get the proper results.
Whichever tool you use to get your zest, there is something that you will need to be careful with. When you are pressing down on the grater, zester, or stripper, make sure that you don't press too hard. This will ensure that you do not go too far into the rind and that way you will only get the colored part which is what you are after. Press too hard, and at the very least you will end up with the white pith (which is no good) or, worse yet, the actual meat of the fruit itself.
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