When it comes to handheld kitchen tools, Bobby Flay isn't shy to share he believes the lemon zester is the most underrated item in your culinary arsenal. The Iron Chef told CNN, "We always buy limes, and lemons, and oranges, and grapefruits, and things like that, and we never utilize the most flavor on the fruit, which is the zest." Flay uses zest in everything from his Orange Mint Julep to his pasta to add a punch of bright, sweet, and tangy flavor.
Flay isn't kidding about the power of this colorful ingredient. Zest can enhance a number of your favorite foods and baked goods, but the reason a zester is truly underrated is that it is good for so much more than the zest of your favorite citrus, especially if you have a Microplane zester. This zester is superior to other zesters because of how close together the sharp blades are in relation to each other, producing a finely grated end product.
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You can use this zester to grate a hard cheese like parmesan to produce a fluffy tuft of shredded parm for your salads and pasta or when you need some fresh nutmeg or cinnamon for your apple pie or homemade pumpkin spice latte. It's also great when you would prefer not to mince your ginger or garlic. A zester can grate these aromatics quickly and efficiently. And when you are making a cup of hot cocoa and want to embellish it with some chocolate shavings, this kitchen tool can get the job done.
They also make for easy clean-up because you don't have multiple knives, graters, and grinders to deal with. It's easy to understand why Flay loves his zester so much, but a word to the wise: Mind your fingers. Microplane zesters are sharp and can take some of the skin from your fingers if you aren't paying attention.
Read the original article on Tasting Table.