This sectioning method works for grapefruit, oranges, lemons, limes, or any kind of citrus fruit. It makes the sections pretty and enjoyable to eat without the membrane that usually covers each slice.
If you're looking at a citrus fruits list including oranges, grapefruits, lemons, limes, kumquats, blood oranges, tangerines, mandarins, clementines, tangelos, pomelos, and ugly fruits (aka uniq fruit), you'll find that sectioning citrus is ideal for many of the fruits, especially oranges and grapefruits. Much of the bitterness of grapefruit comes from the membranes, so if you remove the membranes by sectioning, the sweet flavor comes through more. Oranges are often sectioned to add to recipes such as salads.
Using a paring knife, cut off a thin slice from both ends of the piece of citrus fruit. This gives you a flat surface to cut from. Place a flat end of the fruit on a cutting board and cut away the peel and white part of the rind, also called the pith, working from top to bottom.
Tip: Citrus fruit peels are not usually eaten, but the exceptions are using the oils in cocktails and citrus zest in recipes. Be sure to capture any needed citrus oils or fresh citrus zest before you peel citrus fruit. There is a ton of flavor in here!
Holding the fruit in one hand, tip the fruit to its side and cut into the center between one section and the membrane. Cut along the other side of the section next to the membrane to free the section. Continue with the remaining fruit sections.
Tip: You may want to section the citrus fruit over a bowl to catch the juices that escape while sectioning. Make sure to squeeze any juice from the membranes after sectioning.
Ideas to Use Sectioned Citrus