Zest is the outer, colorful skin of citrus fruit and is often used to add strong flavor to foods, such as lemon meringue pie, sorbets and salads.

Zest has become a synonym for spice, strong flavor or interesting taste.

To remove the zest, a zester, vegetable peeler, or paring knife is used to scrape the colored part of the peel off. The white membrane under the zest (pith or exocarp) is unpleasantly bitter and generally avoided by limiting the peeling depth. The white membrane can be used for cooking when the entire thickness of the peel is candied, but this is not considered zest.

Freezing zest

Lemon zest can be kept in the freezer for up to 3 months. When cooking recipes that require lemon juice, it is always worth zesting the fruit and preserving it for a later use.

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