Learn something new every day
More Info... by email
There are many different types of citrus fruits, including oanges, limes, lemons, grapefruits, and tangerines. Because citrus fruit is so commonly used in cooking, a number of tools have been developed to make working with it easier. Most citrus tools are fairly inexpensive and easy to use, and will also working with these fruits much more enjoyable and efficient.
Most cooks are familiar with juicers. Electric or hand operated, a basic juicer has a protruding knob on which a halved piece of citrus fruit can be mounted. To juice the fruit by hand, the cook presses down on the fruit while rotating it to squeeze out the juice. An electric juicer rotates the knob for the cook, who can concentrate on providing consistent pressure to extract all of the juice. A citrus reamer can also be used for this purpose: a reamer mounts the knob on a handle, allowing the cook to easily juice fruits directly over a dish.
Another useful kitchen tool for working with citrus fruits is a zester. The rind of a citrus fruit is one of the most delicious and flavorful parts, as long as you can extract the colorful and naturally slightly oily zest without catching some of the white pith as well. A zester resembles a small grater, and is designed to pull the zest away and leave the pith behind. Extracting the zest can spice up a dish, provide a citrusy flavor, or add a new dimension of texture.
For sectioning citrus fruit quickly and with minimal handling, many cooks like to use a wedge or sectioner. The device is designed to be inserted into a halved piece of fruit such as an orange or grapefruit. It cuts apart the sections of the fruit while also removing the pith, creating neat, even pieces of fruit which can be included on salads or fruit platters. A sectioner is a great tool for creating beautifully presented fruit.
At the table, you may want to set out grapefruit spoons or knives. A grapefruit spoon can also be used for other types of fruit in general, and it allows the fruit to be consumed without being handled. A grapefruit spoon has a serrated tip which helps the consumer to separate the fruit from the pith, and a grapefruit knife has a characteristic bent, serrated blade which can be wedged into the fruit.