Why it Works: A Zest for Flavor
You might be surprised to learn that the most flavorful part of a lemon is the part you normally throw away: the peel. The yellow part of the lemon peel (called the rind or the zest) contains lemon oil, a powerful concentrate of citrus. Including the zest of the lemon in your cooking adds a refreshing flavor without the acidity of lemon juice. Care must be taken when removing the zest to not remove the bitter white pith that lies just underneath. Although you can use a box grater, the best tool is called a microplane grater (similar to an old-fashioned wood rasp). It grates the zest evenly but avoids scraping the underlying pith.