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Do you consume the skin?

of an apple? a pear? a peach? or a big grape?

I do!

Fish and chicken on the other hand...unless it's fried, no.

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  1. Yes, on all accounts. Extra chewing good for you. And, more fiber I think.

    1. I find the texture of peach skin unappetizing.

      Some less common varieties of apples, pears, and grapes have bitter skin and taste better peeled.

      1. I've heard that some people eat kiwis (the fruit, not the bird or person) with the skin on. It must feel like stubble on the way down.

        1. Beyond issues of personal preference (not liking peach fuzz, for example), I think the deciding factor is organic vs. conventional agriculture.

          If the fruit is organic, I'll usually eat the skin since that is where much of the fiber is located. It's also less hassle.

          If the fruit is conventional, I'm more inclined to peel since the skin is where pesticide residues may be concentrated. If the fruit is waxed, peeling becomes a must.

          1 Reply
          1. re: silverbear

            Agree with you on the organic/ waxing issue.

            Otherwise, I'll eat the skin, but not animal skin (except chicken wings), and not on fish either.


          2. For fruit - always.

            Chicken - never.

            Salmon - sometimes, depending on the preparation and my mood.

            Fish (generally) - no.

            Pork - only if it's deep fried and very crisp

            Duck - never; not even Peking.

            1. I'll eat the skin on just about anything, whether fruit, vegetable, fish, fowl, or meat. Well, I don't think I've ever eaten cowhide...

              Mrs. ricepad shakes her head in disbelief every time she sees me chomp down on an unpeeled kiwi...

              1 Reply
              1. Fruit: yes (i find that texturally I like piercing the skin to juiciness below), and I like the tartness that some skins impart...
                Chicken, yes, unless it's thick and flabby
                Fish: only if crisp

                2 Replies
                1. re: prunefeet

                  Same as prunefeet for me. Well said, PF

                2. Most things, animal and vegetable, I prefer it with skin, often strongly so. Some things not, like citrus (there are cultures where you'd bit into an orange like we'd eat an apple).

                  I rarely if ever peel white potatoes for recipes where peeling is indicated.

                  Then again, I am one of those folks who finds the best eating of a well-roasted or fried chicken includes certain bones, like the spine and the leg ends.

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: Karl S

                    Finally, someone else that eats the fried/roast chicken bones too. I can eat a thigh (with that extra bone that is sometimes attached) and end up with only the large bone. The breast bones and wing tip bones i can completely crunch away.

                    1. re: SomeRandomIdiot

                      re: bones -- Once at a Japanese place I was served steamed skate. Ate the silky flesh. Chef looked at the remaining bones/cartiledge and urged me to eat them Delicious, with an unsurprising resemblance to sharksfin (which is bones/cartiledge).

                      I often judge the quality of the deep fried fish by how much of the tail and fin bones I can eat. Ditto with fried chicken wings -- it's how much of the last wing segment is edible.

                      1. re: limster

                        Haha its the same way for me. If that larger bone in the tip isn't completely chewable then it isn't fried enough for me. Same thing with a fried fish head and tail.

                        1. re: SomeRandomIdiot

                          And I thought I was the only one who ate fried shrimp tails. Leave it to my fellow chowhounds.

                          1. re: SomeRandomIdiot

                            salt & pepper shrimp w/ shell on -- yummy... amaebi deep fried shrimp heads -- yummy!

                    2. Always eat the skin on fruits and vegetables. Never eat the skin on animals like chicken or fish. I like the increased fiber and slight bitterness to produce skin, but hate the fattiness of animal skins.

                      1. Always on fruit and veggies ('cept for that kiwi), and I'm weak for a good crispy skin on chicken. Yum.

                        1. Yes to all, except Kiwi.

                          I didn't know that it wasn't bad to do so. My girl is allergic, so I can't really buy them.

                          But Chicken Yes!!!
                          Pork, YES!!!
                          Duck, YES!!! Especially in cracklin' form.

                          1. For fruit, almost certainly... it's my favorite part. When I was a kid, my best friend was Thai, and she always peeled her apples. I used to love it because I'd get the skin. I'm also weird and LOVE a persimmon's skin.

                            The only part of a potato that I like is the skin.

                            Chicken skin is only eaten when I"m eating INCREDIBLY unhealthfully, like with fried chicken, which is unfortunately almost never.

                            With fish, never never never... hate the taste.

                            1. A bahn mi place near me makes a grilled chicken thigh sandwich which they top with good-sized pieces of the salty, chewy-crisp skin. yum.
                              And what's the point of eating duck without the skin? Sometimes its the best part.
                              Yes to most fruits and vegetables. Did the kiwi thing once, but it kinda covered the taste of the kiwi. but apple skin is one of my favorite things, and I have been known to eat a pile of apple skins while making a pie or tarte tatin.

                              4 Replies
                              1. re: ghbrooklyn

                                I'm like you - almost always eat the fruit skin (except kiwi - that just doesn't seem right to me) and chicken or duck skin - absolutely!!! I'll pick off the Thanksgiving turkey skin first and eat that before I get to the meat. Especially if grilled or cooked extra crispy-crunchy...well crisped poultry skin is the best. :-) I'll even eat the crispy, cooked fat "skin" on a beef roast.

                                But on fish or most seafood? No. I know some people even eat the heads of whole shrimp, but I just can't get myself to even try it.

                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                  Shrimp heads are really good, so are the tails.

                                  1. re: therealbigtasty

                                    I'm sure they are. I just can't get myself to try the heads. I have tried the tails. They just don't do anything for me. :-)

                                    1. re: LindaWhit

                                      I like the shrimp heads too. The first time I had them was at a japanese restaurant where the first fed us the whole shrimp raw. We ate the bodies and then they took the heads and grilled them and brought them back to us to crunch on. yum!
                                      Does anyone know if there is a specific japanese term for that?

                              2. I eat nothing but the skin -unless there is hair, scale, claw or shell, then I go for those instead.

                                Seriously, I generally eat the skin as long as it is not too thick, too bitter, or too hard. For example, I eat chicken drumstick skin but not thigh skin, not the back skin, and not the front part of the chicken breast skin. I generally eat fruit skin but not kiwi skin, not melon skin and definitely not pineapple skin!!! I don't mind tomato skin, I don't mind eggplant skin, but I mind avocado skin!!

                                1. AT several Filipino fast casual restaurants (turo-turo) you can get Chicken Chicharrones... Sometimes I'll get a bag of that and eat it in the car. Crispy, juicy, salty goodness.

                                  I don't do it often.

                                  1. ghbrooklyn:

                                    amaebi (sweet shrimp) sounds like the shrimp you were eating. japanese/sushi restaurants usually serve the body and tail raw as nigiri and fry the entire head for you to enjoy afterwards. i haven't had a grilled head before though. i love amaebi and is one of the things i order most at a japanese place.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: ktown378

                                      I was thinking it was sweet shrimp - thanks for the info. The grilled heads were great. A little bit of char in a couple of spots and a varied texture(which probably doesn't happen as often with frying). Had it at Sushi-Ann in Manhattan on my girlfreind's father's tab. One of the last bites of an amazing omasake.

                                    2. i'm a little surprised no one mentioned banana....

                                      i knew this guy in university who would sit there and maw down on a whole banana and lemons with a bit of salt. i'm not sure if i'd do it mostly because i think trying to bite through the banana peel without severely bruising or squishing the banana would require some skill and likely also impart some bitterness i do not want.

                                      when it comes to meat, i'll eat it if it's crispy but am weary when it's chewy, fatty and the pallor is alarming. or if eating it will cause something to poke my throat as it goes down.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: pinstripeprincess

                                        I love lemon skin if it's a good lemon. Banana, no, I dont' think so.

                                      2. The best part of the chicken is the skin when i was a child all i would eat were the neck, skin and gizzard. I love the neck, the wings and all of the other skin too. Fish skin is excellent too. Soft shell crab of course, shrimp shells are tasty to chew on, especially fried. I love chicharonnes.

                                        1. i used to love eating orange and tnagerine skins for the tartness. Stopped when I realized um pesticides. but we still do lemon/orange zests. Heck I loved eating peanuts in the shell, eating the shell also of course.

                                          What is the point of eating pumpkin seeds without the salted skins?

                                          if crispy, turkey, duck, chicken skin.

                                          baking a buttered potato right now.

                                          there are some apple skins that are too bitter, so better peeled.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: himbeer

                                            Oh, and sunflower seed shells too...

                                          2. > apple? a pear? a peach?

                                            I grew up eating these whole, but a few years ago I realized that slicing them puts the sugary parts directly on your tongue. You get your skin, which your parents always told you to eat, but it's hardly noticeable this way. (And no messy peeling!!)

                                            1. I read an article on potatoes in a Smithsonian magazine years ago in which someone who ought to know said that the one part of a potato that you probably shouldn't eat was the skin, as that's where the nightshade-type toxins develop and concentrate. So I don't eat those, unless the potatoes have just a fragile wisp of skin. However, I despise skin-on French fries.

                                              Yes duck, chicken, turkey, some fish, some pork. Sometimes cucumber, never orange or lemon (raw, anyway), certainly not kiwi - nor in fact any part of a kiwi if I can help it! - but always apple, pear and tomato. I *LIKE* peach skin but it apparently does not return the favor - always gives me cramps. Too bad.

                                              2 Replies
                                              1. re: Will Owen

                                                You're close. The toxins in potatoes only develop when they're poorly handled, and the flesh just barely under the skin takes on that distinct green tinge. To get rid of it, just peel the potato and the green should go with the peel.

                                                I'll eat most any skin that normally can be eaten. I get picky about my baked potato skins, likely the result of mom doing the 8 minute turbo bake by tossing 'em in the microwave. That turns the flesh into a limp thing that tastes like a wet dish towel. Rub the spud with a little oil, put that thing in a real oven for about an hour, and mmmm... perfect. Sadly, the only way I've found to get them that way on a regular basis is at home; restaurants toss their done potatoes in warming drawers and the skin gets unpleasantly chewy.

                                                And those of you who don't eat the skin of your peking duck... can just pass it on over here.

                                                1. re: JK Grence the Cosmic Jester

                                                  On the green potatoes, that is a result of exposure to sunlight when growing. I insist on crisp or even crunchy baked potato skins. They are NEVER good in restaurants. I skip the oil, does that help? I don't find it necessary.

                                              2. Re; oil on a baking potato:

                                                Cooks Illustrated said it did nothing. They said wash, dry, and pierce 2-3 times to vent the steam which makes a fluffier, less mealy potato.

                                                4 Replies
                                                1. re: KayZee

                                                  That's what I do. I cook it at about 400-450 for the better part of an hour, depending on the size of the potato. YUM!!!

                                                  1. re: prunefeet

                                                    COoks Illustrated suggested 350F for more like 60-75 minutes gets a crisper skin than higher temp for a shorter period of time. I found this counterintuitive, but when I tried it I have generally found it to be true (some potatoes do vary a bit, depending on how old they are).

                                                    1. re: Karl S

                                                      Well, being that my method works so well in less time, I'm sticking with it. 45-50 minutes usually does it. Both methods probably work well, but once I start smelling that potato baking, I'm in a hurry to break into it!! Next step: burn mouth.

                                                      1. re: prunefeet

                                                        The lower-longer method does produce a noticeably more well developed crust, if you happen to be interested in that.

                                                2. Any fruit or vegetable that I can, yes, I eat the skin. I won't forget making a special dinner of roast duck, carefully crisping the delicious skin and providing an elaborate orange sauce to accompany, and having one guest scrupulously remove every trace of skin and eat the duck without sauce. She was very slender and I suspected (and still suspect) that she had a Fear of Fat that trumped her good manners. It broke my heart to scrape the good bits off her plate after she had left.

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: Marsha

                                                    You should have scarfed them up!!

                                                  2. I'm allergic to fruit skins (oral allergy syndrome), so no to those. Happily I'm not allergic to the skins of pigs, chickens, duck, turkey & salmon.

                                                    I do love candied citrus rind.


                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: Peter Cherches

                                                      Speaking of allergies to skins of fruit... sometimes my mouth gets itchy when I eat eggplant (ie chinese eggplant in hot oil & garlic), but it only happens sometimes -- I'm still trying to figure out if it is really an allergy, and whether it is to the eggplant or to something else. Any other chowhounds have this experience or something similar?

                                                    2. I don't know where I read this recently, but some food person said about eating chicken skin that if you eat it, "you might as well be eating a Big Mac." I loved eating the skin as a kid, but don't so much any longer. I tend to rub seasonings under the skin when I roast chicken so I'm not missing out on the good flavors.

                                                      And as long as I wash the fuzz off my organic peaches, I don't usually mind eating the skin. I like apple skins too. I left the chopped-up grape skins in my concord grape jelly when I made it last fall but don't think I'll do that again. No one likes finding those little sharp, chewy bits in there.

                                                      And a friend's young daughter used to eat her banana and then eat the peel. She absolutely craved them. I don't know anyone else who eats banana peels, though.

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: vanillagrrl

                                                        That food person must enjoy a big mac more than chicken skin?

                                                      2. Yes to the fruits 'cept peach (the furriness is a bit too weird for me to wanna choke down)

                                                        meats I'm more on a case-by-case basis, dependent on how it's prepared. (but definitely no to skins if it's boiled/steamed/braised or cooked in some other moist fashion.)

                                                        1. All skins, all the time.
                                                          Except grapes: I love peeled grapes. Something tender and unctuous and delectable about them!

                                                          1. I eat the skin on almost everything, DW has an aversion to most pre-living skin.

                                                            Fruits and veggies all but, let me see, bananas, kiwis, coconuts, pineapples, stuff like that.

                                                            Poultry - Best part of the boyds. DW does not partake and I eat her share.

                                                            Fish - yes. DW does not partake and I eat her share.

                                                            Seafood - no

                                                            Pork - never been offered

                                                            1. Was just talking about this very thing, so I found this very old thread – hope no one minds I resurrected it :-)

                                                              Apples, peaches, pears, etc. I’ll eat the skin. Bananas, citrus, mangoes and kiwi, I do not. I have always wanted to try candy-ing citrus peel. I hear it’s quite good.

                                                              I eat vegetable skins almost always. I never peel carrots, and I love potato peels, but I don’t care for eggplant skins.

                                                              As for animal skin, of course I eat it, the crispier the better. But I will leave skin behind if it’s rubbery or fatty. Shrimp shells seem too tough to eat for my taste, and of course I don’t eat clam, scallop or oyster shells, too hard on the teeth!

                                                              Peanuts are consumed shell and all, unless they are particularly dirty, but sunflower seeds must be shelled, I find the shells too sharp.

                                                              1. I will eat lemon peel....but only from a slice that has been sitting in my Gin & Tonic!

                                                                1 Reply
                                                                1. re: NellyNel

                                                                  I remember being introduced to the kumquat when I was around 5, and being entranced by a fruit whose skin was the good part! Other citrus skins I will not eat, aside from finely-chopped zest in a gremolata or some candied orange peel.

                                                                  Crisp, delicious skin is the whole point of the exercise in classic Chinese roast duck and pork. At a banquet he hosted for our tour group in Hong Kong, Martin Yan told us that among the aristocracy the guests would be served the skin of the pig, and the rest would be given to the servants. Lucky us, he did not refuse to serve us some meat!