How-to wash citrus fruit to get good zest

Or washing lemon or orange peel of unwanted wax…

Many recipes call for unwaxed citrus fruit for zest. Well, in some remote places I’d be happy to get citrus fruit at all. Thus I need to be able to know how to wash the unwanted wax away.

Firm fruit can be scrubbed gently, using a soft brush, to remove dirt or wax coatings.

You will need

lukewarm water
bicarbonate of soda
very soft brush

Do not use soap or warm/hot water to wash vegetables and fruit. The warm water will soften the wax and then the skin absorb the chemicals from the soap and wax.

Zesting & grating tip

When removing the skin from lemons or other citrus fruits, be sure to take off only the thin outer zest or colored portion (leaving the pith on the fruit). The white pith will give your dish a bitter under taste.


Further reading & info:
Various waxes and resins are still used for the purpose, some synthetic and others derived from natural sources. However, waxes prevent fruits and vegetables from “breathing,” which can cause spoilage in some produce. Newer films such as methylcellulose, derived from the cell walls of plants, provide produce with protection against mold and damage while still allowing natural respiration.

 Although the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) considers these coatings to be safe for consumption, many consumers prefer to remove them before using the produce. This has the additional benefit of removing the majority of micro-organisms that can cause food-borne illness.