“At lunchtime I bought a huge orange –
The size of it made us all laugh”

-Wendy Cope, The Orange


Wendy Cope’s poem, The Orange (you can read the whole thing here), is about how happiness can be found in the small things of life – a touch, a solution, a sunset, a favourite song…. a moment when one feels glad to be alive. 

Up until now, whenever I’ve needed to peel an orange I’ve always just attacked it, in a random sort of way. But recently I discovered that there is a knack. This way is quick, it’s easy, and it’s neat – the least messy approach. Very satisfying… a second’s bliss….

This is what to do.

If the orange feels a bit hard, try pressing and rolling it a little first – this helps to loosen it up and release the skin. Using a sharp knife, cleanly slice off the bottom of the orange, and then the top, and set it on its, now conveniently flattened bottom.


how to peel an orange

1. Slice across the top and the bottom of the orange.


Make one vertical score, through the peel, from top to bottom. Then you will be able to take off the peel…probably in one piece.


how to peel an orange

2. Make one single vertical cut from the top of the orange to the bottom…the peel will simply lift away.


If you wish to cut off the pith, and/or slice the orange, use a serrated knife to do this, remembering to take out the pips as you do so.


how to peel an orange

If you want to cut off the pith, or slice the orange it’s easier to do this with a serrated knife.


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