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The Swissmar Citrus Zester: A Key Kitchen Accessory

From brightening up pasta dishes to adding depth to a rich chocolate cake, zest is one of the simplest yet most effective ways to enhance the flavors of your foods. But all zesters are not created equally. A go-to...

From brightening up pasta dishes to adding depth to a rich chocolate cake, zest is one of the simplest yet most effective ways to enhance the flavors of your foods. But all zesters are not created equally. A go-to gadget for many home chefs? Cilantro the Cooks Shop's Swissmar Citrus Zester. Here's a closer look at this handy tool, along with tips for improving all of your favorite recipes with it.

Kitchen accessory
Zesting: it's not just for lemons.

 

About the Swissmar Citrus Zester

What makes this zester different from the rest? For starters, there's its versatile double-ended, three-in-one functionality, making it perfect not just for zesting, but also for grating and storing. Looking to create professional-looking garnishes for everything from main dishes to desserts? The Swissmar Zester makes it easy.

This innovative model also stands out from other zesters because of its ergonomic design suitable for both left- and right-handed chefs, as well as its durable stainless steel construction featuring super-fine holes ideal for producing the best results. Clear plastic caps at both ends, meanwhile, ensure safe, hygienic storage.

One additional Swissmar Citrus Zester feature sure to please busy home chefs? It's dishwasher safe -- meaning minimal cleanup is necessary.

Why Zest?

While lemons may first come to mind when you think about zest, any kind of citrus can be zested. Whether you stick with lemon or choose lime, orange, grapefruit, tangerine or an alternate type of citrus, you can use zest to add zing to countless recipes.

Many people mistakenly assume that citrus juice and citrus zest are interchangeable as ingredients, but the truth is that the aromatic oils found in the skin of fruit have a much more intense and complex flavor profile than one-note juice. Floral, tangy and with just a hint of bitterness, zest can do everything from underscore already-present citrus flavor to balance and brighten savory and sweet dishes alike.

If a particular recipe has in the past turned out "just okay," zest can give it the boost it needs to shine.

Kitchen accessory
Add some zing to your salads with zest.

 

Making the Most of Your Swissmar Citrus Zester

Of course, your zester is only as good as the produce you're using. Because zest derives from the outside of fruit, stick with organic, if possible, to avoid chemicals which can potentially taint the taste of your zest. When choosing between fruits, look for ones with a firm texture and vividly colored peel. Another general rule of thumb? Fragrant fruits typically yield more flavorful zest. If a particular fruit smells bland, reach for another one.

Even if you've chosen organic, most fruits are still coated with edible wax for freshness. To make sure you're really grabbing the skin in order to produce the best zest, give fruit a brisk, brief scrub in warm water to remove the wax coating.

Whether you're peeling thin strips for garnishes or aiming for a finer texture for sprinkling into a recipe, using a light hand can also help you avoid ending up with the bitter pith in addition to the zest. It's also easiest to zest a whole fruit as opposed to a halved one. And remember: a little goes a long way -- particularly in baked goods.

Kitchen accessory
Breakfast is served.

 

One last thing to keep in mind? Zest is always strongest when fresh due to its volatile oils, so be sure to use it right away.

Which brings us to our final point: Zest is pretty much a foolproof way to liven many recipes, so don't be afraid to experiment with it in your cooking. Taste a finished dish and feel like it lacks "oomph"? Just whip out your Swissmar Citrus Zester, add a small amount of zest, taste, and repeat until the dish has gone from dull to delicious.

For more on the Swissmar Citrus Zester, check out Cilantro the Cooks Shop's collection of video demonstrations. Then, be sure to visit Cilantro the Cooks Shops to browse its comprehensive collection of bakeware, kitchen knives, cookware and more -- all aimed at helping home cooks bring their culinary visions to life.