Citrus Fruits: You Are Zesting Them Wrong

Be gentle.

Be gentle.

Drop that lemon or lime or other citrus fruit! When you treat it like cheese to be grated, you’re abusing it, making it bitter and not as prime of an ingredient for your holiday recipes. When it calls for a little grated lemon peel or a bit of orange zest, that’s not the time to go crazy with grater. Subtlety, friends. Subtlety.

See, there is such a thing as over-zesting or over-grating, explains Slate’s food and drinks editor. And if you do it wrong, you’ll get bitterness where you want a bit of zip.

It’s not peeling an orange for a garnish and it isn’t sanding a block of wood, she explains in the how-to video below. If you want a hint of nice citrus flavor, you’ve got to have a delicate touch.

The first thing you need? A microplane grater. The rest, well, you just need to learn how to treat that fruit right:

How to Zest an Orange. Or a Lemon. Or a Lime. [Slate]

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.