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Old 01-17-2008, 05:32 PM   #1
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Zester

Question about using one: I've seen so many receipes using a zester. Do you actually eat the peel of the orange after its cooked. Doesn't sound right. I would love to try it but don't know about eating it.

Thanks for helping me.

Andrea

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Old 01-17-2008, 05:40 PM   #2
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Orange (and lemon and lime and probably grapefruit, too) zest adds a bright spark of flavor, and yes, you do eat it.

If you are worried about the texture, zest your orange and then chop the ribbons of zest as fine as you like.

(Easier--use a Microplane to zest your fruit. The zest will be very, very fine.)
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Old 01-17-2008, 05:59 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by sparrowgrass View Post
Orange (and lemon and lime and probably grapefruit, too) zest adds a bright spark of flavor, and yes, you do eat it.

If you are worried about the texture, zest your orange and then chop the ribbons of zest as fine as you like.

(Easier--use a Microplane to zest your fruit. The zest will be very, very fine.)
I agree. If you don't have a Microplane Zester, invest the $12 or so in one. Mine came with a neat plastic sleeve so no worries about storing in a drawer.
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Old 01-17-2008, 07:27 PM   #4
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You won't notice the presence of the zest in the dish. Zest the peel using short strokes of the zestier to make smaller pieces. If you use a micro plane, it is so fine a zest that it will disappear when cooked.
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Old 01-17-2008, 07:37 PM   #5
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I, too, have a microplane, actually several. One I have has 2 different cutting surfaces. One end will produce extremely fine zest which, as Andy says, will disappear. The other cutting surface is quite coarse and will make what might be described as "ribbons" of zest. Love my microplanes. Use them for tons of things.
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Old 01-17-2008, 08:55 PM   #6
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And to add to the thread - be sure and just get the very outer skin when you swipe the zester on it - the colored part only. You don't want ANY of the white pith right below the skin. That is the stuff that is not so good.
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Old 01-17-2008, 08:56 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by virgo152 View Post
Do you actually eat the peel of the orange after its cooked. Doesn't sound right.

Thanks for helping me.

Andrea
The zest is not to be confused with the peel. The zest is simply the outermost layer of the citrus, the layer containing all the essential oils. The peel/rind, is has and bitter, versus the zest that is aromatic, pungent, and well, zesty.

And to add to what others have said, microplane, FTW!
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Old 01-17-2008, 08:57 PM   #8
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lol, guess we were right on time there, KE
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Old 01-17-2008, 09:01 PM   #9
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lol, guess we were right on time there, KE
LOL - I was going to mention the essential oils but forgot - thanks for picking up my slack! GMTA anyway!
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Old 01-18-2008, 04:58 PM   #10
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I have been searching far and wide for a microplane, where did you guys get yours? The only place I found that carried them was a gourmet food store but they wanted $25 for it, and I was sure I would be able to find one for cheaper. Thanks for any help!
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Old 01-18-2008, 05:06 PM   #11
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I have been searching far and wide for a microplane, where did you guys get yours? The only place I found that carried them was a gourmet food store but they wanted $25 for it, and I was sure I would be able to find one for cheaper. Thanks for any help!

Google microplane and you will have a huge sepection of places to buy one.
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Old 01-18-2008, 05:20 PM   #12
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right you are andy m., thanks so much!
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Old 01-18-2008, 05:36 PM   #13
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Zester

I got my microplane at our local hardware store. No need to pay a high price at a kitchen store. I also, due to the high price of fruit, that when we do purchase any citurs fruit after we have eaten the good stuff inside I zest the rind then put it into vaccuum bags and freeze it. The zest freezes very well due to all the oils in it. That way I always have Zests when a recipe calls for it.
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Old 01-18-2008, 07:24 PM   #14
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I have been searching far and wide for a microplane, where did you guys get yours? The only place I found that carried them was a gourmet food store but they wanted $25 for it, and I was sure I would be able to find one for cheaper. Thanks for any help!
Amazon has them for about $12 for the one I have (red handle, 1 inch wide and about 12 inches long including the handle) They also have some for like $8.95. Unfortunately, you may have to pay shipping unless you are buying a minimum dollar amount or they are running a special.

I found the exact one they had for $12 + 5.99 shipping at my local kitchen store for $12, so I snapped it up.

My old zester worked OK for citrus, but it just "juiced" fresh ginger and left a stringy mess on the blades.

But what do you expect for a $2.99 zester?

There are other online sites that have them too, but shipping will always be an issue with small purchases.

If you have a bunch of friends that like to cook (or need to cook), maybe you can all get together and put in a bigger order.
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Old 01-19-2008, 04:27 AM   #15
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I was perusing Williams Sonoma a few weeks back and found a box grater-style Microplane with both fine and coarse sides as well as this goofy finger guard/loading chute. It was on closeout for $18 (from $25-30) so I figured it'd be worth it so I could keep my regular Microplanes out in the garage!

When it comes down to it, Microplanes are just about the best in the zest.
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Old 01-19-2008, 05:28 AM   #16
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I was watching maybe the discovery channel and it was how they process lemons from the tree to your supermarket shelf. It was one of those big name brands for fruit. The lemons and other citrus were shown going through chemical baths an acid and a chlorine I think it was. Anyway at the end it was," here are the lemons being dipped in dye to put back their color and in this tank they are given a waxy layer before being crated for distribution'. Since that show I buy organic when I want zest.
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Old 01-19-2008, 05:44 AM   #17
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Microplane makes a series of planers in different grades. They have ones that are paddle like 2-3" wide x 4-5" long. As I remember those are 5 grades from very course to extra fine. The medium grates both ways. You can get them all stainless steel, stainless with a plastic handle or stainless steel grater in a plastic frame with a plastic handle. Price varies accoringly.

They have the file type 1 1/2" wide and 'bout 10" long in three courseness. There is a smaller 6" half round rod that is fine for nutmeg. They have other products as well such as a nutmeg grater that has its own container.

Cooks Illustrated was giving away a free one with your paid sudscription a file one with no handle
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Old 01-19-2008, 09:16 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by krichardson View Post
I have been searching far and wide for a microplane, where did you guys get yours? The only place I found that carried them was a gourmet food store but they wanted $25 for it, and I was sure I would be able to find one for cheaper. Thanks for any help!
I got mine at TJ Maxx or someplace like it, for $5.
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Old 01-19-2008, 09:51 AM   #19
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Thanks everyone! I guess I will just have to look a little harder next time I go out. I've looked in all the grocery stores and walmart type stores, but ya'll have proven me wrong. Thank you for all your suggestions!
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Old 01-19-2008, 05:00 PM   #20
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I agree. If you don't have a Microplane Zester, invest the $12 or so in one. Mine came with a neat plastic sleeve so no worries about storing in a drawer.
Or you could go to a hardware store and buy a painter's rhasp (I think that's what it's called...I discovered them after I got bilked out of 15 bucks for one at a big box retailer) for about a dollar fifty....which is the EXACT same thing.
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