What Is Zested Tangerine?

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The zest of a tangerine is a versatile ingredient in cooking and baking. It lends a bright citrus flavor without the bitterness of the pith and prevents waste by utilizing an often overlooked part of the fruit: the skin.

Identification

  • The zest of a tangerine is the thin, orange layer of the skin. The white fiber located under the zest is known as the pith. While the orange zest has a strong citrus smell and flavor, the pith has no smell and is bitter. The zest is obtained by grating only the orange part of the tangerine's skin with a fine grater, such as a microplane. A vegetable peeler may be used for recipes requiring larger strips of zest.

Function

  • The concentrated flavor of the tangerine zest can be used in place of extracts in baking. In cooking, zest adds flavor to a savory dish, reducing the amount of salt needed.

Considerations

  • Most commercially available tangerines are covered in a food-grade wax. Non-organic citrus fruits, including tangerines, are typically treated with pesticides as well. Thoroughly wash the skin before zesting a tangerine to avoid consuming wax and possible pesticides.

References

  • Photo Credit Orange with one slice peel image by Igor A. Bondarenko from Fotolia.com
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