Adding the zest of citrus fruits is a wonderful way to boost the flavor of your recipes. It is important, though, to remember that the fruity flavor is only in the zest, not the pith. The zest is the thin, colored layer on the fruit. The pith is the white layer underneath the zest. The pith has a bitter taste and will add a bitter undertone to your recipe.
To prevent adding pith into your zest, run your zester over your fruit (or fruit over your zester, depending on what kind of zester you are using) in one direction and only once over each spot, then rotate the fruit and repeat until you have removed all the zest from the fruit.
Approximate zest amounts for fruit are as follows:
Key lime: 1 tsp
Regular medium sized lime: 1-2 tsp
Meyer Lemon: 2 tsp
Regular medium sized lemon: 1 Tbsp
Medium sized tangerine: 2-3 tsp
Medium sized orange: 1 – 1 1/2 Tbsp
Grapefruit: 1 1/2 – 2 Tbsp
Here’s to sweet dreams and sugar highs,