All types of fruits are used in cooking, preparing cocktails and attractively garnishing glass and tableware for an eye-catching presentation. It's not uncommon to see a trio of lemon wheels laying atop a gourmet seafood dish or a wedge of lime resting on the edge of your favorite cocktail. Whether you are a chef, bartender or plain old recipe enthusiast, a few good cutting techniques for fruits can enhance the flavor of your concoctions and add pizazz to their appearance too.
Fruit Cutting Utensils
Grapefruit knives typically have two blades; one on each end. On one side, a deeply ridged blade is designed to separate segments from its thin inner lining. The other side features a double-edged, serrated blade used to separate the fruit from the thicker, outer rind. Strawberry hullers are used to pry out leaves and stems while keeping the berry itself intact. Melon ballers are handy for scooping fruit into perfectly round balls. Look for rust-proof durability like stainless steel, but plastic cutlery also works with most ripened fruits. A simple paring knife also does the trick for many types of fruit.
Citrus fruits -- such as lemons, limes and oranges -- are commonly cut into wedges that make them easy to squeeze the juice out of or eat right from the peel. To create easy to squeeze, peel or eat fruit wedges you can use a basic kitchen knife. Hold the fruit firmly on its side against a cutting board or plate. Make one straight cut lengthwise from end to end cutting the fruit completely in half. Turn one half of the fruit on its rounded side with the fruit side facing up. Cut lengthwise along the center from end to end. Repeat this step until you have reached the desired size and amount of fruit fruit wedges.
Fruit wheels make attractive garnishes that complement the presentation of many drinks and entrées. The wheel fruit cutting technique is most effective with citrus fruits, but can be used with apples, large berries, pears and pineapples as well. Cut off about a 1/2-inch of the fruit on the top and bottom removing the stem and navel areas. Make a straight slit from one end to the other, about one-quarter to one-half of the way through the fruit. Slice the fruit -- in the width of your choice -- creating several round wheels. The previously cut slit allows the fruit wheel to slip over the edge of a glass.
Melons -- such as honeydew, watermelon or cantaloupe -- have a soft and pliable texture that make them easy to cut, carve and sculpt. To make perfectly round melon balls -- ideal for fruit salads -- you can use a basic melon baller. Cut your melon in half and hold it firmly against a table or cutting board with one hand. Using your free hand dig the round, half-circle shaped end into the fruit using a firm and gentle twisting motion. Twist the melon baller in a complete 360-degree angle and remove it from the fruit. Gently tap the handle over a bowl or plate to release a perfectly round ball of fruit.
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