What is zest?
Originally derived from the cooking world from the French word zeste meaning ‘orange or lemon peel’, zest is one of those words that has transcended its original intended usage.
In the English language this word is applied to anything that has an enjoyable or exciting quality, and even an enthusiasm for life is described as ‘zest’.
Here we go back to the earlier definition of zest and find out the many uses and properties of zest in citrus fruit, to discover what makes it so exciting.
ZEST IS COLOUR, FLAVOUR AND AROMA
Zest, also epicarp, pericarp or exocarp, is the colourful outer part of the peel of a citrus fruit that is covered with numerous pits full of essential oils.
These oils are responsible for the wonderful burst of scent that’s released when you squeeze a lemon’s skin, or when you try to peel an orange, and are a concentration of the fruit’s flavour and aroma.
It is the reason why it is an indispensable ingredient in the kitchen but not only, as seen with the oil of bergamot in the perfume industry and the numerous ways they are integrated into our common household products.