Did you know that most citrus fruits were traditionally grown for their zest, not for their fruits? When you zest, or peel away the skin of citrus, you get all the flavor of a lemon, lime or orange in this skin- without all the acidity of the flesh. One has to just be careful not to zest too much of the outside of citrus or you’ll reach the white bitter part of the skin.
I learned this from Andreas Viestad, a Norweigan chef and food writer, who talked about this on his show, New Scandinavian Cooking. It’s my absolute favorite cooking shows because it takes place in and around Norway and other parts of Scandinavia, so it’s also somewhat of a travel show. He also cooks a lot of fish, which goes so well with citrus, of course.
I’ve never been to Scandinavia, but this show portrays Norway as a beautiful, simple country with people who love the outdoors, love their fish like pollock and salmon and delicious berries like lingonberries and cloudberries, enjoyed seasonally by the locals when these fruits are at their peak of freshness- just as they should be.
To learn more about how to preserve citrus peels at home, read more here.
Check out these recipes that are even more delicious with the addition of citrus zest: