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 producer for Slate Video and occasional contributor to Brow Beat. Follow him on Twitter.

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