Do you know the difference between the zest and the rind of a citrus fruit?

When talking about citrus fruits like lemon, orange or grapefruit, it is common to hear the term “zest” But have you ever heard the term “ziste”? Although they are paronyms, phonetically close words, they refer to distinct parts of the skin of these fruits with different characteristics and uses.

Citrus zest

The zest is the thin outer layer of the citrus skin. It is the colored and fragrant part which contains a large quantity of essential oils. Aromatic and fresh, the zest is widely used in cooking. Raw or cooked, the zest brings an incomparable flavor, incorporated for example in the preparation of a dessert like in this Savoy cake with lime zest, or in a savory version, finely chopped in linguine with lemon and smoked stracciatella .

Citrus zest

The world of cuisine is full of often overlooked treasures, and citrus zist is a perfect example. Also called albedo or mesocarp, the zist therefore refers to the white part located between the pulp of the fruit and the peel (the zest) which surrounds the flesh of lemons, oranges, grapefruit and other citrus fruits. Unlike the fine and delicate zest, the zest is thicker and has a fibrous, slightly spongy texture. Although it is rich in fiber and flavonoids, it is generally carefully avoided for its characteristic bitterness.

Take the zest from a citrus fruit

Use a zester or grater to remove the zest from the citrus fruit. These tools are equipped with very fine sharp blades which allow you to remove the outer layer of the bark without cutting into the zist, which is too bitter for some palates. If using a vegetable peeler, gently run it over the surface of the citrus fruit using light pressure to remove thin ribbons of zest. If you press too hard and accidentally remove some zest, gently scrape the side of the zest strips with the blade of a knife to remove the white parts. Once obtained, you can choose to throw the peel directly away or keep it for other preparations that will lend themselves more to the power of its taste.

Using zist in cooking

To reduce the bitterness of the peel while benefiting from its flavors and benefits, you can blanch it, that is to say, immerse it one or more times in boiling water according to your tastes and your tolerance to bitterness. Then use it to flavor jams, desserts or candied in sugar. Infused in syrups, liqueurs or even vinegars, it subtly flavors and adds a touch of bitterness to your preparations. Finely chopped or grated, ziste is also a tastefully interesting ingredient to include in condiments, sauces or marinades.

Similar Posts