How to Zest an Orange. Or a Lemon. Or a Lime.

What to eat. What not to eat.
Dec. 16 2013 10:53 AM

How to Zest an Orange. Or a Lemon. Or a Lime.

It’s not like grating cheese.

Cranberry bread with cream cheese.
Zest an orange wrong, and your cranberry bread may end up too bitter.

Juliana Jiménez Jaramillo for Slate

Citrus zest shows up in recipes more often than usual this time of year. Gingerbread, fruitcake, stollen, and various other holiday treats usually call for a little grated lemon or orange peel to add a subtle citrus flavor.

But you can’t just go at it like you’re grating a hunk of cheddar. You have to keep a few things in mind to maximize the flavor of your citrus zest and prevent bitterness. Slate’s food and drink editor shows you how.

For one of the best ways to employ orange zest, check out Slate’s recipe for cranberry bread.

L.V. Anderson is a Slate assistant editor. She edits Slate's food and drink sections and writes Brow Beat's recipe column, You're Doing It Wrong. 

Krishnan Vasudevan is a regular video contributor to Slate. Follow him on Twitter.

Chris Wade is a video and podcast producer for Slate and occasional contributor to Brow Beat. Follow him on Twitter.

TODAY IN SLATE

Medical Examiner

Here’s Where We Stand With Ebola

Even experienced international disaster responders are shocked at how bad it’s gotten.

U.S. Begins Airstrikes Against ISIS in Syria

The U.S. Is So, So Far Behind Europe on Clean Energy

It Is Very, Very Stupid to Compare Hope Solo to Ray Rice

Friends Was the Last Purely Pleasurable Sitcom

The Eye

This Whimsical Driverless Car Imagines Transportation in 2059

Politics

Meet the New Bosses

How the Republicans would run the Senate.

A Woman Who Escaped the Extreme Babymaking Christian Fundamentalism of Quiverfull

How in the World Did Turkey Just Get 46 Hostages Back From ISIS?

  News & Politics
Politics
Sept. 22 2014 6:30 PM What Does It Mean to Be an American? Ted Cruz and Scott Brown think it’s about ideology. It’s really about culture.
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 22 2014 5:38 PM Apple Won't Shut Down Beats Music After All (But Will Probably Rename It)
  Life
Outward
Sept. 22 2014 4:45 PM Why Can’t the Census Count Gay Couples Accurately?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 22 2014 7:43 PM Emma Watson Threatened With Nude Photo Leak for Speaking Out About Women's Equality
  Slate Plus
Slate Plus
Sept. 22 2014 1:52 PM Tell Us What You Think About Slate Plus Help us improve our new membership program.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 22 2014 9:17 PM Trent Reznor’s Gone Girl Soundtrack Sounds Like an Eerie, Innovative Success
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 22 2014 6:27 PM Should We All Be Learning How to Type in Virtual Reality?
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Sept. 22 2014 4:34 PM Here’s Where We Stand With Ebola Even experienced international disaster responders are shocked at how bad it’s gotten.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.