I received this cute little kitchen tool in the mail a few months ago, but unfortunately, I hadn’t had the opportunity to use it for anything that I could share pictures of as part of a review until now.
The ZestN’est is a result of a collaboration between my favourite cookbook author and New Metro Design. They’ve teamed up to create a whole line of “Rose” branded baking products. Some of these were based on New Metro designs from before the collaboration (like the beater blade, which I’ve been using for quite a while now). I also have Rose’s Caramel Pot, which I received as a Christmas gift from Jay. While I haven’t used it a whole lot yet, it’s been perfect for small amounts of sugar syrups and sauces that I’ve done in it.
Anyway, this review is about the ZestN’est, not the whole line! It’s about the size of a lemon, and comes with a plastic cover that snaps over the cutting blade while it’s in storage. The zester blades are similar shape/size/style to the blades on a microplane grater, which I also have in my drawer. I’ve always found the microplane grater really effective in taking zest off, while leaving the pith, but it’s a bit cumbersome, because there’s no good way to hold it. Also, given that it was originally intended as a plane, where you don’t normally try to harvest your wood shavings or sawdust, it’s not exactly optimized for catching the results of whatever it is you’re scraping it across.
This one is optimized for catching the results. If you look really closely, you might see a piece or two of zest that hit the counter rather than getting caught inside, but the counter around my bowl is normally a mess when I use the microplane. I did find that it wasn’t particularly obvious how to get it open at first, but once I took a closer look at the instructions on the package, it was no problem. RTFM! I actually really like the fact that the zesting/grating surface is slightly curved, because it means that you can even get the zest off near the weird nubby bits of the lemon, where a flat grater wouldn’t reach.
The other handy thing is that you can store a small chunk of whatever it is you’re planning to grate inside it. Over Christmas, I went somewhere where I was planning to use fresh nutmeg on something, so I popped a nutmeg nut (?) into the ZestN’est, snapped the cover on, and shoved it in my bag. I can’t really think of any drawbacks, other than if you’ve already got something that works, there might not be much point in purchasing something new. Microplane (I got mine at Lee Valley) is not really a bad product, all things considered.
Disclaimer: I did receive this product for free, and was asked if I could do a review, but the opinions here are always my own, and always honest.