Does rolling and/or tossing an orange really make it easier to peel?

A coworker of mine was tossing an orange around in his hands while in his cubicle when his cube mate asked why he was doing this. The guy with the orange said that the impact of the orange hitting his hands when he caught it would make it easier to peel. His cube mate didn’t believe him, so he decided to ask me as an unbiased third party. I mentioned how I had heard of rolling an orange around in your hands or against a hard surface supposedly makes it easier to peel, but I’ve never heard that throwing it around would help, and I couldn’t even confirm that rolling it around was anything more than an urban legend.

Anyone know the straight dope on this?

I’ve heard that rolling a citrus fruit on a table or such makes it easier to juice, never heard anything about peeling.

I’ve heard the same as Zsofia, and it seems that it would do the opposite. Anything making the fruit more bruised and juicy would make it more messy to peel.

I do throw fruit around just for fun, though.

Welp, I’ve been told (by Alton Brown) that the best way to peel a hard boiled egg is to smash it against the sink so that the shell cracks into tiny pieces, then roll it around a little to separate whatever holds the shell to the egg from the egg. That action helps make it easier to peel.

Wouldn’t this sort of work with oranges? Sort of moving the peel around enough so that the little fibers that hold the peel to the fruit come undone in the process?

Man…I miss oranges…

I always roll oranges between my hands before peeling. It takes some practice to get the pressure right, and you kind of have to get a feel for each individual orange, but it’s not too difficult. What you’re trying to do is loosen the fruit from the inside of the skin a little, but not break any of the sections and release orange juice This works best with thick skinned oranges.

Can’t vouch for the tossing method.

Robert DeNiro’s character in the film ‘Angel Heart’ demonstrates the rolling technique for peeling eggs. It does the trick, and looks pretty creepy into the bargain. Though his talons also help that…

I peel eggs that way. No smashing involved.

Just rap the egg’s flat side against a flat surface once to start some cracks then gently knead the egg until the shell is cracked all over into roughly 1/8" - 1/4" sections.

Then gently twist the two ends in opposite directions and the egg “hatches” from the shell which separates into 2 easy to handle pieces, each held together by the membrane.

If the egg is overcooked the membrane sticks to the egg and this method doesn’t work so good. The shell still cracks just fine but the egg doesn’t hatch as easily and you end up pulling the shell off in several sections. Still, it’s a heck of a lot easier than the traditional scab-picking method.

I have no clue if the OP’s method for oranges works. I’ll have to try it next time.

??? Some dietary thing???

I’ve done this for as long as I can remember. It really does make the orange easier to peel by separating the rind from the fruit somewhat. I will do this for a long time because I also like my oranges at room temp, and my wife keeps them in the fridge!

It certainly does not seem to me that it would be the same. An eggshell is rigid enough that pressure causes it to crack. With an orange peel, pressure causes it to bend, and I don’t see why that would pull it away from the orange at all.

I learned to roll citrus fruit around before juicing to increase the juice yield. The only tip I have ever seen for peeling oranges is that given to patients recovering from strokes. It is that they are easier to peel if they are blanched briefly and then put in a bowl of cold water.

Er… why does she keep them in the fridge? Is she just one of those “everything in the fridge” people?