“She felt about her zester the way some women do about a pair of spiky red shoes–a frivolous splurge, good only for parties, but oh so lovely.”

Erica Bauermeister, The School of Essential Ingredients



At the end of the recent Food Bloggers Connect event in London we were all issued with bulging goodie bags. There were one or two interesting items, but by far the most useful gift was the zester donated by Microplane.

I have used this piece of equipment almost every day since unpacking it from the bag.


the best zester

old zester – now in the bin

Why is it so much better than my old zester?

Two reasons:

  1. It zests better – it skims the surface – covering it better so more zest comes off, but only skimming so the bitter white pith is never included.
  2. I can use it for more things. I keep both horseradish and ginger in my freezer, so it is always ready for use. With this zester I can instantly grate, directly into whatever I am cooking. I also find it useful for chocolate (see Missisippi Mud Pie).


the best zester

new zester – not an improvement

Why is it so much better than my new zester?

I saw a Joseph Joseph zester with an ingenious addition (Joseph Joseph usually produces excellent design – see washing up rack). There was a slider which collected the zest (see image on right). I experimented. The zest tended to get blocked, ending in one gluey gob. Then the slider came off in the washing up, and go lost in the rubbish. So I stick with my Microplane.


How was the Microplane invented?

Grace Manufacturing in Arkansas originally developed them as a wood rasp for carpenters. Then, in 1994, a Canadian housewife decided to borrow her husband’s in order to make an orange cake. The company modified the tool, and began marketing it to cooks.