Lemons are oval, yellow citrus fruits valued for the tart flavor of their flesh and peel. Lemon slices or wedges are used as a garnish. Lemon oil, cold-pressed from zest, is used sparingly as a flavoring. Fresh lemons are available year-round.
To make lemon zest strips:
Using a paring knife held almost parallel to the skin, cut off thin strips, being careful not to remove any bitter white pith. Or, use a vegetable peeler.To grate lemon zest: Draw the lemon across the fine holes of a handheld grater, being careful not to remove any bitter white pith.To shred lemon zest: Draw a zester across the skin to remove zest in thin shreds. Or, use a fine-holed shredder.For other citrus varieties, see blood oranges, grapefruits, limes, oranges, and tangerines.