"Zest" is Evil!!!

And “zest” is a stoopid word designed to trick us into believing that it is a good thing, when it is not.

I’m referring, of course, to citrus skin, which becomes “zest” when it is finely grated and added to a perfectly good tart, pie, or cake.

Last time I checked, citrus skin was nasty and bitter, and I remove it before I eat the fruit. WHY THE FUCK WOULD I ADD IT TO THE DESSERT I’M MAKING?

This has always bothered me, but it was on my mind today because of the key lime cheesecake I ate last night. The cheesecake could have been, would have been, truly outstanding if they had left the goddamn “zest” out of it, the only effect of which was to add a nasty bitter aftertaste to an otherwise lovely, tart cheesecake.

Just stop it with the zest shit, ok? It’s rank, it’s evil, it’s bad, and it just ruins everything!


From the title, I thought this thread was about the personal cleaning product. “Zest isn’t soap. It makes you feel cleaner than soap.” I came to defend it. Soap is evil. Zest is good.

I like zest. I chew it off the rind when I eat an orange. It’s good. Nummy nums. JDM

Zest contains more of the fruit oils, so you’re adding a concentrated oil to the mix which is supposed to make the flavor more intense.
If the zest is bitter then you will increase the bitterness, but at the right time of season, the zest is sweet and the sweetness is increased.
I hate zest, but that’s why it’s done.

Caught@Work is right about the fruit oils bit and the difference in something that is in season.

The thing is, if you’re getting all this bitterness, chances are the fruit hasn’t been zested properly. Care is needed to make sure only the very surface of the peel is used. If any of the white (known as the pith) is added, that is what is adding to the bitterness.

Using zest is a way to add flavor without adding extra liquid (which can be a very bad thing in pastry production). I zest many a lemon and orange at work, and I don’t notice any bitterness in my things. ::shrug::

ACK! No it isn’t, no it isn’t. It dries out my skin and smells awful. Unfortunately, the flodparents love it. So I take my own shower gel when I visit them, and just learn to deal with the fact that the shower stinks of Zest. Ah, well, you know how it is with parents. They’re so hard to raise right :smiley:

Good God- I thouht you called me out in the Pit when I saw this title (I hadn’t had my coffee yet.)

Whew! That woulda been a first (except Corex one time as a joke) and I was thinking “What the hell could I have DONE??”
Oh, and I hate zest, too. Gross man!


Anything that would detract from a key-lime cheesecake or a key-lime pie is truly evil and the perpetrator of that evil should be flogged unmercifully.

JavaMaven has it right. Zest IS different from peel. You must make sure only to use the very thin coloured part, not the thick white part which is indeed bitter.

I’ve used zest (grated citrus peel, not the soap) in recipes to no ill effect. Grating it is a nuisance though.

Cheesecake + Key Lime Pie. mmmmm

Why have I never thought of that!? Thanks for the idea.

Pith = bitter
Zest = Yumm!!

Zesters can be bought anywhere you can get kitchen supplies. Cheap ones will go for about a buck.

You only want the very outside - no white. Any citrus-flavored dish NEEDS zest.

I thought you were talking about that crappy health and lifestyle magazine “Zest” which was a pile of shit.

However citrus zest - I love that, it’s great for cooking. There’s a fantastic pasta recipe where you use lemon zest, lemon juice, chilli, rocket, capers and tuna, and it’s just god-on-a-plate. (If god was zesty).

One more “I agree with JavaMaven”. If your zest is bitter, you’ve got too much pith in it - it should have NO white stuff, just the colored stuff.

As a soapmaker I can heartily say you’re full of crap. “Zest” isn’t a soap – it’s a detergent (as are most so-called “soaps” on the market) and flodnak is right about it being drying and bad for your skin (and it stinks!) Soap rules!

I have no opinion on citrus zest. :smiley:

So was it…


You people who like it, well, YOU are evil, too! Ever since I was a kid, when I would use my teeth to break the skin on an orange and some of the peel oil would squirt in my mouth, I have found citrus peel extremely nasty, and so should you!

The pith is almost flavorless, it’s that damn oil. Which, by the way ALSO ruins most fresh orange juice that is produced in those horrible machines that simply crush the friut, “zest” and all. Years ago my local gourmet market had an orange juicing machine that actually split the orange and juiced it the same way you would by hand. YUUUUUMMMMMMM…now THAT was some fabulous fresh oj!

You people are weird. :stuck_out_tongue:

Aaaah. What you need to do is drink a glass of milk immediately after eating zest. It tastes amazing. :cool:

So, now we know what’s getting Stoid so pithed off.

At the risk of grossing stoid out of existence, I will mention that I have been known to eat ( very occasionally ) whole lemons. Raw. Skin and all. I like the bitter/sour thing :). If I order an Iced Tea at a restaurant, I invariably eat the slice of lemon that comes with it.

I also eat the entire apple, including the core ( gotta build up that cyanide tolerance :stuck_out_tongue: ).

You may now all ewwww in unison ;).

  • Tamerlane