Peeling an orange might sound like some trivial thing you don’t need any new information on. We’ve all done it at some point during our lifetimes, or have seen someone do it at least. But there are more efficient ways of doing it, and less efficient ways of doing it. You can use just your hands, or you can employ the help of kitchen utensils to get the job done faster and less messy.
Use your hands
The easiest way and arguably the most straightforward one is using your hands. You don’t need your nails to pierce the skin, only your fingers to create a big enough dent at the top or bottom of the orange so that the skin gets pierced. Your goal here is to be able to push your thumb under the peel and separate it from the pulp. You can do this in batches, stripping away a bit of peel at a time, or you can use both your hands and separate all the peel at the same time.
Some people swear that by rolling it prior to peeling you make the peeling process easier, and the orange flesh juicier. However, peeling will be made easier by the fruit’s ripeness at the time you decide to eat it.
Once the outer skin of the orange has been peeled off, it’s time to make a decision: what to do about the pith? That’s the white skin covering the orange and separating the individual orange slices. This pith is high in fiber and contains a lot of extra vitamin C which you’d just normally throw away. But now that you know that it’s actually healthy for you, you might reconsider eating it. If not, you’ll have to spend a couple more minutes peeling it off. It’s best you do so if you plan on serving your orange in a fruit salad – the pith’s bitterness and different texture may put some people off.
Using a knife
Another straightforward approach is using a knife to basically peel the whole orange, pith and all, and leave the juicy parts exposed. Sure, this method involves wasting a bit more of the fruit than you would normally, but it’s alright as long as you have proper composting practices put in place.
Use the knife to cut off the top of the orange; the part that would hang off the branch.
Once that is done, use the knife to go down the sides, under the skin of the orange. You’ll need to adjust your position to match the roundness of the orange, but you should be able to take the skin off in a few downward strokes. Do this on a plate so that the juices coming out of the orange don’t get wasted.
One last option is using a spoon to break apart the peel from the body of the fruit once you cut off the top side with a knife. Insert the spoon in-between the peel and the inner fruit, and push gently until it comes off. Do this around the whole orange and you should be able to simply break the peel off.