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Lemon Zest

Lemon Zest

Lemon Zest
© Denzil Green

The zest of a lemon is the very outer yellow portion of the peel. It is prized for its concentrated flavour. Just under the zest is the white part of the skin called the "pith." Don't include any of the pith in the zest you take off the lemon, because it is very bitter. There will always, however, be a bit of white pith attached to your zest, so don't panic, just try to limit it.

As with getting zest from any other fruit, scrub well first to remove any germs, insecticide or wax.

A Lemon Zester can be seen as another kitchen tool to clutter up your drawer, but it really does do a good job. There's nothing to replace it when you need strips of Lemon Zest. If those occasions, however, are few and far between, use either a box grate, a vegetable peeler, or a sharp paring knife.

Zest a lemon first before you juice it.

Use zest immediately, or freeze it. If left to sit in the fridge, even in a sealed container, it will dry out and lose its taste and scent.


1 tsp. finely shredded Lemon Zest = 1/2 tsp. lemon extract


A lemon will on average give you 2 - 3 teaspoons of zest.

Storage Hints

You can freeze Lemon Zest for future use. In fact, there's nothing like having it on hand in the freezer, ready to toss into cooking or baked goods.

See also:


Eureka Lemon; Lemon Butter; Lemon Extract; Lemon Juice; Lemon Oil; Lemon Twists; Lemon Zest; Lemons; Lisbon Lemon; Meyer Lemon; Sfusato Lemons

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Also called:

Limonis Cortex (Scientific Name); Peau de citron (French); Cáscara de limón raspada (Spanish); Casca de limão (Portuguese)


Oulton, Randal. "Lemon Zest." CooksInfo.com. Published 14 September 2003; revised 18 February 2011. Web. Accessed 03/20/2018. <http://www.cooksinfo.com/lemon-zest>.

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