New Thing #123: An Almost Perfect Orange Peel

Orange_PeelI realize that title makes it sound like I'm talking about the noun orange peel...but I mean the verb orange peel. As in, Thursday afternoon I had a really good orange peel.

Perhaps this is no big deal to you.

If so, then I commend you for your orange peeling ability.

For me?

This is a huge accomplishment.

A few months ago I saw a friend do a really good orange peeling and I made a bit of a big deal out of it. I started asking some questions about how he did it - not unlike Kramer seeking out advice about how to best use his time in the shower on Seinfeld.

He didn't really explain but said, "I eat a lot of oranges."

I don't peel all that many, because first and foremost, I don't eat that many.

But it's a chicken and egg situation. I don't know if I don't eat many oranges because I'm not a good orange peeler, or if I'm not a good orange peeler because I don't eat a lot of oranges.

But if all oranges were like the one I had Thursday, well, I'd be met with a lot more success.

There are a number of factors at play here. I knew I was in luck with the orange I picked out on Thursday. It was the right color orange - that was a good first sign. There was hardly any green on the peel - too much green indicates it's still too hard to peel. And when the color appealed to me, I picked it up - and I could tell with it in my hand that it was the perfect texture.

I dug my nail in - that's my other hangup. Inevitably you're going to end up with a little bit of orange beneath the fingernail, and then your hand smells like orange for the rest of the day. But this time my nail went to the exact right depth and I created a good divot - a big part of a successful peel.

That divot led to the first big chunk off the orange - all peel, no fruit. That's huge. Sometimes my first peel ends up with a quarter of the orange being thrown away - or me sucking it out of the peel to avoid that instance. My second peel led to the top of the orange (you know, the north pole), and I plucked that out, and then the next one went right down to the bottom (south pole). Pluck.

As you can tell from the picture above, I had my near-perfect peel - I didn't waste any orange and I had no peel patches left on the orange. It's a rare feat for me indeed.

As you can imagine, it was one of the best-tasting oranges I've ever had in my life.