Orange Zest is usually made by cutting, scraping, or grating the outer part of the orange peel (not including the bitter, white pith underneath). Orange Zest is mostly used in deserts, but can also be used for certain meats or sauces.
Orange zest gives a nice deep, orange flavor to dishes, and may be used raw or cooked. In its raw form, heat will mellow it out and cause it to release its oils which yields a blend of floral and citrus notes.
Orange Zest Substitutes
Dried Orange Peel
Zest is essentially the outer layer of the orange peel. Some chefs use dried orange peels because it provides the full flavor of the orange without the bitter taste coming from the white pith. Dried orange peel is mostly useful in dishes that call for a good amount of orange zest.
Orange Extract or Fresh Juice
Zest may not always be appropriate since it is mostly used in desserts. Orange extract provides a flavor similar to orange zest, but a hint stronger. Although do take care when using orange extract because its smell is pungent. Orange juice, on the other hand, is for adding a tangy taste to fresh foods or even as an addition to desserts.
Just like oranges, limes and lemons are a type of citrus well known for their tartness and strong flavor. You can use it t to add a stronger citrus taste. This trick is mostly used in desserts, but some chefs use it to give kicks of flavor to chicken, and fried foods.