You’re probably asking your computer screen…what does supréme mean? When regarding citrus, it is the cooking term used to describe the process of segmenting a citrus fruit by cutting away the skin, pith, membranes and seeds. It is a technique that is fairly easy to master after a few tries and will certainly boost your confidence in the kitchen! It also makes any dishes with citrus instantly more attractive. I find that grapefruit in particular is much better when suprémed because the membranes tend to be quite thick and chewy. In this example I have used a grapefruit, but this technique works for any citrus fruit: oranges, lemons, limes, pomelos, etc.
An absolute must to supréming citrus is to use a serrated knife. You can do this with a non-serrated knife if the knife is VERY sharp but it still isn’t as good as using a serrated knife.
How to use suprémed fruit:
- fruit salad
- orange chicken/fish
- grapefruit with cottage cheese
- any regular salad that has citrus in it
Makes: lovely citrus fruit segments
Equipment: serrated knife
1. Using a serrated knife cut the top and bottom off so that you have flat sides on either end of the grapefruit.
2. Place the grapefruit flat side down and slice from the top downward curving your knife as you go so that you cut off the skin while removing as little flesh as possible.
3. Continue to slice all of the skin off in this fashion. You may want to flip the grapefruit over and slice from the opposite end to make sure all of the skin and exterior pith is removed.
4. Now you should be able to see the membrane lines that run from vertically from the top to bottom of the grapefruit. Hold the grapefruit in your hand and carefully slice just to the right of one of these lines. Cut toward the center of the fruit. Then remove the knife and find the line just to the right of where you made the first cut. Now cut to the left of that line toward the center of the fruit. The grapefruit segment should fall out easily.
5. Continue to slice in this way on either side of each segment line until you have removed all of the grapefruit flesh. Discard the pith, membranes and any seeds that may be attached to the flesh. You should be left with a lovely collection of grapefruit segments that can be used in any way you like. If it took you forever to get to this point, don’t worry. You will get faster at it until one day it takes you no time at all.
Written by Anne Beaubien