Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Sectioning Oranges

I was a really, really picky eater for a while there as a kid. As an adult I'll try almost anything once, but I still have strong opinions about flavor and texture.

Over the past few years I've come to really appreciate the bold, clean flavors of winter citrus--who doesn't? Beautiful pink grapefruits, comically oversized pummelos, delicate Cara Cara oranges... they are what I crave in January. The problem is that I hate the taste of bitter citrus pith (even though my mom always said that was the nutritious part) and I really can't handle the texture of a citrus segment with the membrane still on. Enter sectioning!

I can't remember where I first learned how easy sectioning is, but I know it was only a few years ago. I don't really drink anything besides water, so I think of my sectioned citrus and its juice as a special treat.

You basically just peel your citrus with a sharp knife like you'd peel an apple. The challenge is to get all of the pith off without taking too much flesh (the flesh left on the peels you can scrape off with your teeth). Then you hold the fruit over a bowl and cut along both sides of each membrane line, popping out perfect little wedges of flavor. Squeeze the messy leftover membranes over the bowl (a hand juicer comes in handy) and discard.

Enjoy your bowl of perfect, flavorful, juicy fruit!

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