#908 Peeling an orange in one shot

It ain’t easy, but when you finally succeed in peeling an orange into only one big, swirly peel, it can be one of the greatest fruit-eating experiences of your life. Here’s how to make the magic happen:

1. Pick a winner. No two oranges are created equal so it’s important to inspect your fruit before you pick it. Smart money says eye a juicy one that’s been ripe for a day or two and has plenty of loose, saggy peel hanging around, just begging for a big thumb-puncture right in the gut. If you have trouble, just remember this handy line: to get that peel off, pick one that’s soft. Word to your sister.

2. Roll it out (optional). Some people like to roll their orange around on the counter a bit, just to make doubly sure that the peel is primed and ready to go. This is the equivalent of sending the orange out to the bullpen to warm up. A side benefit is that your orange becomes extra juicy.

3. The thumb-puncture. This is the most critical move so let’s break it down. First, make sure you do actually use your thumb to perform the puncture, not the questionable four-fingers-in-a- scratch-the-blackboard-pose tactic. People who go the four-finger route are doomed to get all kinds of peel scraps flying everywhere. So just don’t do it. Now, when you have your game face ready, aim for one of the flabby peel-rolls right near the top or bottom of the orange. No matter what, do not stab right in the middle of the fruit, because that’s the thinnest part of the peel and you’ll walk away a humiliated, wet, pulpy mess.

4. Long, slow burn. Once you’re in, it’s time to slowly, majestically carve out a big peel-strip around and around and around the orange. Be careful not to create any peel islands, those little chunks of peel just hanging out in the middle of a freshly peeled area. Also, don’t peel too thick a strip (inaccurate and unpredictable) and don’t peel too thin a strip (could snap off). Just relax and it will come with practice. If you seem to be losing your momentum or getting stressed out, just put the orange down, shake your hands out, take some deep breaths, and regroup.

5. Show and tell. Did you nail it? Did you finish it off good? If so, congratulations, you’re now holding a freshly shorn orange in one hand and a limp n’ long, snake-like strip of peel in the other. You have to finish by showing this to at least one person and saying “Hey, check it out!” Maybe hang it right in their face if they don’t seem impressed at first. They should come around and at least flash you a terse thumbs up or a sarcastic eyebrow-raise.

Yes, peeling an orange in one shot is a terrific accomplishment. It’s one of the best fruit-openings out there, easily trumping the big watermelon split, the pineapple top lop, the pomegranate pry, the coconut crack, or the apple bite.


Photos from: here, here, and here

36 thoughts on “#908 Peeling an orange in one shot

  1. You know what’s also fun? Peeling an orange with one narrow strip most of the way around and then leaving the rest in two semi-spheres so the peel looks like an elephant’s trunk and ears — or, viewed with a dirtier mind, a penis and testicles.

  2. I was about to write a comment about the “Elephant Technique” that Peter mentions above, when I saw that he’d already covered that ground. However, in the same comment, he shattered an innocent childhood activity with a VERY different image than I’d ever had before.

    I’ll never be able to peel an orange using the Elephant Technique again, without that much more, well, “colorful” imagine.

    That Orange-Peel man is great, btw.. However, I question whenter it was done without any outside impliments. Look at the details of the fingers!

  3. I would thank you for this, but my kids saw that little orange man and are begging me to make them one.


    I’m totally craft impaired.

  4. My friend’s mom is from Trinidad, and she says it’s a superstition there that if you peel an orange without breaking the rind, you’ll soon get a new dress.

    Don’t ask me the reasoning behind that, I just think it’s awesome.

    1. The superstition that I’ve heard is that if you peel an orange in one go, you should throw it over your shoulder and it will position itself in the shape of the 1st initial of the person you will marry. If it breaks, you will never marry.

      Rather predictably, it always tends to look like an ‘S’………….

      Still awesome though :)

  5. I must say I’ve never tried to peel an orange like that.
    I think that little man is made out of a mandarin not an orange. Look at the segments.

  6. It took me a loooooong time (and a crapload of busted peels) before I successfully peeled an orange in one long, swirly strip. And do you know what gave me the courage that fateful morning to try, try again? My NASA coffee cup. I always feel smarter when I’m drinking out of that mug, and this one morning I as I dug my orange out of my backpack with one hand and sipped out of my Smart Cup with the other, I thought, This is it. You are going to DO. IT. And I did. And it was frickin’ AWESOME!

  7. this point is sooooooo nice, it can make every1 happy from all ages, and the writer is absolutely right!! little happy things can make u realllllly happy

  8. I like this one but for me the smell of orange the thing I’d name as owesome. There is nothing like it I even have hate soda and drink Fanta just to get fix or orange smell.

  9. You’re right: peeling an orange in one go is awesome, but I can top it with another bit of fruity creativity (which, frankly, I’m surprised nobody has mentioned here). I am talking, of course, of the

    For those of you who don’t know what a banana penguin is, just type it into Google Images and the first picture that comes up is an example of how it should look. I learned this from a girl in Canada and really, this makes eating a banana just that little bit more


  10. Wow that’s amazing. I never managed to do that, even though I always try to.
    Most of the time it’s just one big failure.
    When I’m halfway peeling the orange suddenly it goes wrong.
    I tried it over a 100 times and still I haven’t succeed, but I’m glad to hear at least somebody was able to do this. It gives me more hope to try it again and again until I succeed.
    I loved reading this blog and I hope there will be many more so we all can enjoy your stories.
    Keep up the good work !

  11. “scroll” orange and apple peels and spray with clear varnish…
    voila, for those who like roses.

      1. I used to carve out a smiley face on one side and on the other “I heart u” in my kids lunch oranges~ a litte gesture can go a long way=)

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