Add Some Zest To Your Cooking With Citrus
When was the last time you bit into a juicy citrus fruit? Oranges, lemons, grapefruits, kumquats and limes are all part of the citrus family and come in an array of perky rainbow hues: pink, red, green and yellow, all brightly proclaiming their nutritional value even before you cleave these juicy, bursting orbs in half.
In my humble opinion, the citrus fruit is underused. Juicing the citrus fruit is an easy way to get its health benefits, but you miss out on all that good fruit fiber which aids digestion and adds to the feeling of fullness.
However, citrus shouldn’t just be a breakfast or juice item; almost every meal is better with citrus, so I’m here to fill you in with my top citrus picks.
Use the Zest
Don’t throw away the skin just yet – it’s bursting with flavor! When you finely peel the thick skin of a citrus fruit, you get the ‘zest,’ which tastes a bit like the pure essence of a citrus fruit. Zest can be added to all sorts of dishes to give them an extra zing – the aroma of citrus without corrupting the flavor. Some of my favorite dishes that use zest are limoncello sorbet, a sort of frozen Italian liquor cum frozen ice dessert, and fresh crab linguini, made with chili, garlic and lemon.
A small knife, vegetable peeler or cheese grater can be used to scrape the zest from the skin. When peeling the zest, care should be made so as not to include the pith, which is the white portion of the skin and tastes quite bitter.
Choose citrus fruits with firm rinds. They will have more juice than those with soft rinds, and the rule of thumb is that a smoother skinned fruit is preferable. While storing citrus fruits, wrap them in a plastic bag and place them in your fridge’s vegetable crisper. They’ll last longer than if you stored them at room temperature. If you want to store the juice or the zest, freeze to retain flavor, but try to consume it within two weeks.
Explore Rare Varieties
Have you ever watched Iron Chef? If you haven’t heard of it yet, the American version of the show has top chefs competing to cook several fine dining dishes in just under an hour. These gourmet chefs frequently use citrus fruit in their dishes, but one or two Iron Chefs like Iron Chef Cat Cora always favored a type of citrus called Buddha’s Hand, a glorious, many-fingered lemon variety which was unique in that even the pith was edible. You might be able to pick it up at your Asian grocery, or at least use this information to impress your friends. Another type of citrus, which is considered a rare delicacy, is the Australian Red Finger Lime. It has globular juice vesicles (read: round things) that burst when cut, and looks a bit like an eggplant but with hard skin. On the more normal side of the spectrum, the kaffir limeis small, green, and has a distinct sweet sour taste. It’s a known staple in Thai cooking, and makes a great lemonade drink.
Don’t Go Sour On Me
Did I miss out on your fave citrus fact? Have tips and tricks to share? Comment here!
My passion is to help you live your healthiest and most harmonious life, but in a way that’s realistic and practical for you as a unique individual on this planet. My philosophy is all about “balance,” never a diet since a diet is not sustainable for life, aka Kill The Diet.