Do you love the flavor of fresh lemon? Well, I do. Many recipes call for lemon zest, for great lemon flavor.
Zest is described as the very thin colored outer peel of the citrus; not the inner, white pith, which can be bitter. It imparts much more citrus flavor to foods, but none of the sourness of the juice, because the essential oils of the lemon are contained only in the outer skin. These oils tend to dry out easily, so the zest should be used while it is fresh. It may be sliced off thinly with a very sharp knife. Larger quantities are more easily obtained with a fine grater, or a rasp, sold in specialty housewares stores. This is a great tool for your kitchen.
Fine thin strips of zest used for garnish can be made with a bar tool called a “zester.” It will produce those long curly-ques you see in bar drinks. The fine grater or rasp is one of my favorite tools in the kitchen.