#atozchallenge: Very Late Z

I’ve been sick, really.

I don’t remember if I did this when I was a child or if others did it to me, but, the memory is there of orange peel being squeezed in my face and of feeling the light, stinging spray of citric acid -my first introduction to citrus zest.

Zest is a great word meaning to enjoy something keenly, with relish, and also a pleasant flavor or exciting quality – that is why it is applied to the outer peel of citrus fruits.  The white part beneath, called the pith, is often bitter but the outer peel or flavedo is full of flavor and is used in many ways.

You might find it in orange marmalade, lemon flavored baked goods. I like to keep a lemon in my freezer for recipes calling for lemon zest.  A fine grater or special zesting tool can be used to cut the peel. It is often used as a garnish too because of its bright color and full flavor.

Another use, and one of my favorites, is in citrus essential oils. Here is your trivia for the day; when cold pressed, it requires 3,000 lemons to produce a kilo of lemon essential oil.  The chemical constituents in this oil, the list is too long to include, have anticancer, antidepressant, antiseptic, antifungal, antioxidant, antiviral, astringent, invigorating, refreshing and tonic properties.  All of which might make you think that we should be eating the peeling, not just the lemon. It works for me to put a few drops of the oil in my glass of water.

The next time a server in a restaurant asks you if you would like a slice of lemon in your water or other drink, you might have a good reason to say “yes, please”. Just sayin’…


12 thoughts on “#atozchallenge: Very Late Z

  1. So glad I found my way here via A-to-Z, and now I’ll be happily backtracking my way through your alphabet. I love citrus zest – I made cranberry and orange zest muffins this weekend and it was lovely to smell the scent of the oil on my fingers for quite some time afterwards.

  2. When I think of orange zest, I think of my mate’s muffins. They are gorgeous and this is one of the constant ingredients. 😀 Congratulations for finishing the challenge! Your blog was one of my favorites and I’m looking forward to your posts through the rest of the year!

  3. My mouth is watering, zestfully, over your talk of lemon and orange zest. I also like hearing of another reason for people to say, “Yes, please.”
    Hope you are feeling better.
    Congratulations on completing the AtoZChallenge!

    • All those properties are concentrated in the essential oil but present in smaller amounts in the zest, but yeah, kind of amazing isn’t it? Thanks for reading.

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