Microplane vs. Zester

My full-on yuppiedom has resulted in me turning to the world of food hobbies to fill my empty life and subsequently inflict my creations on my friends (right now I’m on soft cheeses and infused liqueurs, maybe at some point I’ll be brewing vodka out of my closet). So, I’m looking into making limoncello (or my eventual plan, lime-gingercello) using the recipe reprinted in the Wash Post or Times that was originally found on the eGullet forums.

The author on eGullet recommended using a microplane instead of a vegetable peeler to allow for better oil extraction into the vodka. I always thought that was a wooshop tool. Anyway, I was perusing Williams Sonoma and discovered that they have both a zester AND a microplane.

Which do you prefer? My goal is to make sure the pith doesn’t get into any of my shavings because that would render the limoncello all bitter, which I don’t want. The microplane is a wee bit cheaper but I’m willing to pay for a zester if it’s a better choice.

Anyone else into the wonderful world of make-your-own-cello (or cheese?).

Microplane is a brand name. They make graters/zesters in different sizes. You want one for zesting citrus - works amazingly well, and you don’t get pith. I have a fine one for zesting and nutmeg and such, and a coarse one for cheese.

I see. This is what I got when I typed microplane into WS and this is what I got when I typed in zester. I’m wondering what makes one better than the other. I suppose I’ll go in and have a look some time next week.

Definitely microplane. I have both tools and use the microplane for ingredients and the zester for garnishes, when it’s more for show than flavor.

Thanks for explaining the difference, lissener and Zsofia. Microplane it is, then.

Either way, you want to do your zesting directly over the dish you are adding it to. The process produces a fine spray of essential oil, and you don’t want to waste that.

Microplane tools are da bomb. Buy a finer model for grating Parmesan and nutmeg.

Thanks to everyone who responded. I found it at Cost Plus World Market for 12 dollars. I tried Williams Sonoma earlier in the day and it turned out to be closed for renovations and I didn’t want to drive to the town over so I tried CPWM and it was there.

I don’t even know how I lived before it. I’ll post pictures of my limoncello when it’s finally brewed up.