How to Segment Citrus

Wedges of orange, pomelo, and grapefruit make sweet and colorful additions to salads, desserts and dinners. Here’s how to segment (also known as suprême) citrus with this step by step guide.

Platter with Three Different Citrus Slices (Front to Back): Clementine, Orange, and Grapefruit for How to Supreme Citrus

Simply Recipes / Sarah Fritsche

Segmenting citrus is time consuming, of that there is no doubt, but removing the juicy sections of fruit from their papery membranes is well worth the effort. 

Visually, segmenting the fruit will make your salad, dessert, or finished dish more beautiful, and from a practical standpoint citrus fruits are easier to eat with a spoon or fork once freed from their protective coating.

Suprême is the technical name referring to the technique, but whether you suprême citrus or segment it the goal (and result) remains the same: jewel toned, juicy fruit that is easy to eat!

It’s simpler to suprême an orange, grapefruit, or pomelo than you might think. Just follow these step by step instructions. 

Citrus with Some of the Rind Cut Off and on the Counter, a Knife and Citrus Rinds

Simply Recipes / Lori Rice

How to Cut Citrus Segments, Stey by Step

I routinely take the extra time to suprême my citrus, and I personally find the process relaxing.

  1. Start with a sharp knife and trim the pole ends of the citrus so they lay flat on the cutting board.

    Citrus Fruit with the Pole Ends Cut Off and on the Counter in the Background

    Simply Recipes / Elise Bauer

  2. Start at the top and use your knife to remove the peel by following the curve of the fruit from one end to the other, exposing the juicy fruit segments beneath. If you miss any bits of pith on your first round, do a second pass.

    A Hand Holding a Citrus Fruit While the Other Hand Cuts Off the Peel (From One Pole to the Other) Using a Knife

    Simply Recipes / Elise Bauer

    Knife Continuing to Cut Off Rinds, Following the Curve

    Simply Recipes / Elise Bauer

    Peeled Grapefruit and Next to It, the Rinds

    Simply Recipes / Elise Bauer

  3. Work over a bowl to catch the juices and cut between each membrane to remove the segments one at a time.

    Knife Used to Cut Citrus Wedges (without the Membrane)

    Simply Recipes / Elise Bauer

    Citrus Wedge Removed Carefully from Membrane

    Simply Recipes / Elise Bauer

  4. Squeeze the membranes into the bowl with the caught juices and save it for another use, such as flavoring a vinaigrette or mixing with a splash of mineral water for a light and refreshing drink.

5 Easy Recipes That Make Use of Citrus Segments