How to Supreme An Orange, or a Tangerine, or a Grapefruit…

Supreming is one of those tricks that one can use to instantly make a dish look more special with just a little extra effort. To supreme citrus is to taking peeling to the next level-to actually remove the flesh of the fruit, whole, from the membranes. To be honest, there are not a whole lot of uses for this technique, but it is great for salads or in desserts when you might not want the slight bitterness of any pith or membrane to come through. Plus it looks impressive.

First, you start with a a whole fruit. Larger specimens are easier to handle so pick the largest tangerines, oranges etc as possible.

Next, cut off the very top and bottom of the fruit.

Then, peel the fruit using a knife.

You want to follow the shape of the fruit like so:

Continue until all of the peel is gone. If the peel or pith was especially thick or your fruit wasn’t symmetrical, you might end up with a slightly misshapen fruit. It really won’t make much of a difference.

Then you want to put you knife between the membrane and the fruit segment. Cut, repeat for the other side and remove the fruit. Repeat for the rest of the segments.

Voila! A naked fruit segment.


  1. Aaron Ouellette -

    I have to say the timing of this article is quite weird. I was preparing a citrus fruit salad just two nights ago, and recalled seeing chef’s making nice wedges of ‘naked’ fruit. I applied the technique you just described to a lemon, orange, and a grapefruit. I have to say it could be quite wasteful, as you are left with quite a bit of pulp left from all your cutting, but I then squeezed out all the left over juice from all the fruits for the salad’s dressing.
    Thanks for the tip, even though I’d already learned the method.

  2. How supremely informative! This is around the time of year I really crave oranges and grapefruits, anything citrusy really. This is perfect for uplifting salads. Thank you, I had never known how to do this!

  3. Naked citrus really does add a smoother texture to salads and gelatin molds. Thanks for sharing the technique!

  4. I love citrus! I like to cut mine up like this and arrange them on the plate because it makes it seem like I am eating something fancy. I have better luck with a smaller knife though — less wasted fruit.

  5. Hey Janet, A smaller knife does work well, but a small knife doesn’t show up as well in pictures. I also used juiced the leftovers and zested the peels so there was no waste.

  6. Great tutorial–thank you for posting it. I just bought a giant bag of tangerines and thought about doing this soon for salads, etc… so this is right on time.

  7. Thanks for the how-to-lesson! The end result looks perfect!

  8. oh, so that’s how they make ‘pretty’ oranges

  9. Thanks so much for this informative post! I love reading how-to’s.

  10. I was really intrigued to find out there was an official term for this technique of citrus cutting. My mom has done it this way for years, having learned it from her mom and friends in Florida. They do it in a slightly different fashion. After cutting off the top, they cut off the rest of the rind in a spiral fashion, similar to the way you can peel an apple or potato. It goes quickly and seems to waste less fruit in the process. Thanks for your recipes and tips. You have a charming blog! I’m glad to have stumbled upon it…

  11. Thanks for the great how-to. I won’t be cutting my “entertaining” oranges any other way now.

  12. Thanks for the great how-to. I won’t be cutting my “entertaining” oranges any other way now.

  13. Wonderful tutorial on how to supreme an orange and other citrus fruits……the photos made it so easy to follow.

    Living in Arizona, we have alot of citrus and we have tons of tangelos right now. We are about to cut up a large jar full to infuse with vodka and need to get rid of all of the rind, etc, to make it right. This is just the ticket ! Thank you.