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Lemon Juice V Lemon Zest

Arthur Huxley - 06-03-2018

It might be obvious but just for the record, lemon juice is from the inside of the lemon and really, offers not much more than a citrusy tart liquid.

By contrast Lemon Zest is the lemon skin grated directly from the lemon and offers a lovely scent and positive flavour without being liquidy.

However, a caution. With Lemon Zest, avoid the white bit underneath the skin - the pith - which is extremely bitter and this bitterness will carry through to your dish

We have often commented on some ingredients or condiments being a "weapon". for Home Chefs and from our view Lemon Zest is another flavour "weapon" along with our Blog on Pomegranate Molasses and our review of three flavour lifting flavours from Vinegars.

All have the ability to not only add a flavour sparkle, they can transform a dish.

To give an idea, a nice recipe suggestion when pan cooking Beef Fillet is a Shallot Sauce with Lemon Zest and Mustard Seeds.

To start. After the beef has been removed from the pan - remember to keep warm - leave the beef juices and add the shallots and a teaspoon of mustard seeds.

Over a medium heat cook until the shallots have softened and the mustard seeds are toasted then add a teaspoon of Lemon Zest and 1/4 cup of chicken stock or water, stir well then add 20g butter, stir to blend, add salt and pepper and serve with the beef.

This necessarily has to be a quick process. It is important that while your Beef is being held warm, you will not want it to keep cooking from your preferred doneness.

A quick and easy sauce recipe with the Lemon Zest adding a lovely clear brightness. By contrast, if lemon juice is used you will be left with a rather dull citrus note.

And at some point we should have a conversation about Lemon Zest in desserts. We would love to post any thoughts and recipes on this.

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