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Do you know how to supreme an orange?
supreme v. to remove the skin, pith, membranes, and seeds of a citrus fruit and separate its wedges. Also as noun, a wedge of citrus fruit.
We have the French to thank for inventing this technique, which divides the peel and pith from the succulent fruit that resides underneath. Basically, supreming is a sophisticated culinary term that gives oranges and other citrus grace at the dinner table. For example, oranges are rather messy and sticky to try to eat, especially if you’re trying to dress to impress, but you do not have to outcast oranges at a fancy dinner party and you don’t need to hand out bibs and wash cloths at your next brunch affair. Supreming leaves your guest free to indulge in citrus without staining their fingernails. A bowl of supremed fruit has a place on even the whitest of tablecloths. Supreming is simple enough to learn and a handy trick to learn. Here’s how you do it:
What You Need To Supreme An Orange:
- Any kind of citrus fruit (for this example I will be using an orange)
- Small, sharp paring knife
- Cutting board
How to Supreme An Orange:
Citrus Fruits – You can use this method to cut any citrus: oranges, grapefruits, even lemons.
Rinse the fruit under cold running water.
Using a sharp knife, carefully slice off the top and bottom of the orange. Cut off about ½-inch from the stem end. You want to cut deeply enough that you expose the orange flesh. This gives you a stable cutting surface and will also make it easier to trim away the rest of the peel.
Use any knife you feel comfortable with for this step. Take your time, and use a back-and-forth, saw-like motion as you work your way down the orange. Be careful not to trim too much. If you do not go deep enough, you can go back afterward to trim up spots that we missed. Using even down strokes, trim the skin and pith away from the flesh and discard.
Continue rotating and cutting down the sides of the orange until you’ve removed all the skin and white pith from around the orange, and the orange flesh is completely exposed.
Now you’re ready to cut the orange into segments. Use a paring knife for this step and have a bowl ready to catch the citrus juices. The white lines of membrane going down the orange separate each of the segments. Hold the orange gently against your cutting board, with the white membrane lines pointing up and down the cutting board. Cut along the membrane on the left side of an orange segment and then along the right side of that orange segment. The first segment is always the hardest to get out and the rest are a lot easier. Continue cutting out the orange segments.
Your orange segments are now ready to use! This same technique can also be used on other citrus fruits.
Juicy oranges are wonderful in salads and desserts, or with rich meats such as poultry or beef. Stay tuned for tomorrow for a recipe you’ll want to use these supremed oranges for…