A zester (also, citrus zester or lemon zester ) is a kitchen utensil for obtaining zest from lemons and other citrus fruit . A kitchen zester is approximately four inches long, with a handle and a curved metal end, the top of which is perforated with a row of round holes with sharpened rims. To operate, the zester is pressed with moderate force against the fruit and drawn across its peel . The rims cut the zest from the pith underneath. The zest is cut into ribbons, one drawn through each hole.