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How To Zest a Lemon

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Its sour juice is certainly not the only useful product of the lemon. In fact, it is the sharp, aromatic outer skin or zest which is most versatile. There are various ways to remove the zest depending on its intended use.
What you'll need: 
Fresh unwaxed lemon
Fine grater
Paring knife
Sharp peeler
When buying lemons for their zest, ensure that they are fully ripe with bright yellow skins. Shop-bought lemons are often waxed to improve their appearance. You should therefore either buy unwaxed lemons or thoroughly wash them before zesting.
Once the lemons have been washed (if necessary), the purpose of zesting should be determined. Its intended use will determine the zesting method required.
If the lemon zest is to be used as a strong aromatic or flavour component, it should be finely grated to release as much of the fragrant essential oil in the skin as possible. The zest can then be added to curries, stir-fry's or desserts. When grating, ensure that only the zest is removed, avoiding the bitter white 'pith' beneath.
Lemon zest is a versatile ingredient; if it is to be used as an infusion in teas or mulled wine it should be cut from the body of the lemon, once again ensuring that only the zest is removed and leaving the pith behind.
Twists or strips of lemon are often used as a garnish in both cocktails and on desserts. In this case, an inexpensive, purpose-built zester can be bought. This tool will allow you to cut a thin, continuous strip of zest which can then be used as a garnish. A sharp peeler can also be used if necessary.
Buy unwaxed lemons if possible.
Remove all pith from the zest as its bitter flavour can be overpowering.


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