Thursday, December 4, 2008


Have you ever heard of a suprême? No, not the members of the Motown group from the 1960s. But a segment of citrus fruit minus the membranes and seeds.

Suprêmes have a fantastic texture and look like little jewels. Orange and especially blood orange, grapefruit, tangerine, lemon and Meyer lemon, and lime suprêmes all make beautiful garnishes for sauces, salads, and desserts. Add a few juicy suprêmes to any dish with citrus for that special touch.

To cut suprêmes, use a very sharp chef’s knife or paring knife, whichever you’re more comfortable with. Start by cutting the stem end off the citrus fruit.

Then cut off the blossom end.

Stand the fruit on one of its cut ends and cut the rind away from the flesh in narrow strips.

Rotate the fruit as you go.

And try to remove all of the white pith but as little of the flesh as possible.

Continue until the fruit is naked.*

Then, cut each segment out from between the membranes. A citrus segment is shaped like a wedge, so to remove each one from the fruit, you will need to make two knife cuts, one on either side of the segment just to the inside of the membrane, that come together like a V.

Hold the citrus fruit in one hand and cut slowly and carefully.

Continue until all of the segments have been removed.

You can cut the segments over a bowl to catch the juices. Gently pick out any seeds from the suprêmes. Finally, squeeze the membranes into the bowl to extract the remaining juice.

* This same technique can be used for peeling melons, butternut squash, pineapples, mangoes, and kiwis.


Irina said...

This is so easy and beautiful!

I actually saw this done for us once by a waiter at a nice Japanese restaurant. It looked like he created it with magic. Now I know better .


Lynn said...

There is an easier way to do this where you'll also lose less fruit. After your fruit is naked, make a cut in towards the middle along a membrane, then turn the blade and cut from the middle out. That segment will almost pop out of the fruit very cleanly.

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