The brighly colored outer part of the rind of a citrus fruit.
The zest of citrus is commonly used to flavor baked goods, icings, stuffings, desserts, and a host of other dishes. Why use zest instead of juice? Because the oils that are in the smooth rinds of citrus fruits are more concentrated, the flavoring in the zest in much more intense. Therefore, with a little zest you can get much more flavor for dishes!
- Use a standard zester or Microplane grater to pull the zest away from the fruit. Be sure to get only the colored portion of the rind! The white underneath has a very bitter taste and wouldn't work very well at all!
- To prevent getting the white pith, don't zest the same place on the fruit twice. One pass should be enough to get the zest off. Two passes will only get you white bitterness.
- When using it in your recipes, be careful to simply fold the zest in, so as not to destroy the texture. If adding it to batters, fold it in after the beating has finished.
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