Citrus fruits, including oranges, lemons,
limes and grapefruit are used to add flavor and color to dishes. They are
also served as a functional garnish with some foods - for instance, a
slice of lime with a Cuban-style black bean soup or a wedge of lemon with
a broiled fish.
Although citrus fruits keep well, be sure
that the fruit you select is not bruised or softened. Before juicing
citrus fruits, you should allow them to come to room temperature if
possible. Roll the fruit under the palm of your hand on a cutting board or
other hard work surface before juicing to break some of the membranes.
This helps to release more juice. Remember to strain out seeds and pith
before using the juice, either by covering the citrus fruit with
cheesecloth before squeezing it, or by straining it after juicing. There
are numerous special tools to juice citrus fruits including reamers,
extractors, hand-held and electric juicers.
Zesting Citrus Fruit
The zest, the outer portion of a citrus
fruit's peel or rind, is used to add color, texture and flavor to various
preparations. The zest includes only the skin's brightly colored part,
which contains much of the fruits flavorful and aromatic volatile oils. It
does not include the underlying white pith, which has a bitter taste. Use
the following method to zest a citrus fruit.
Use a paring knife, swivel-bladed peeler, or
zester to remove only the peel's colored portion.
If julienne or grated zest is required, use
a chef's knife to cut or mince the zest. Grated zest can also be prepared
using the fine holes of a box grater.