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Article

Grating cheese (and zest) with ease

Fine Cooking Issue 35
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Occasionally a tool from my husband’s workbench pays a visit to the kitchen—needle-nose pliers for yanking out salmon bones, for example. Recently another tool made the trip, but this one—the Micro­plane rasp—won’t be returning to the base­ment shop. I’d heard of people using this fine-gauge woodworking rasp as a grater, and I finally tried it myself. I’m in love.

The original Microplane is a slender piece of lightweight stainless steel that doesn’t look like much of a muscle-man, but its superfine grating slots make it a powerful performer. I get virtual snowdrifts of grated Parmesan with hardly any pressure supplied by me. The resulting fine-textured cheese is perfect for blending into risotto or pasta sauce.

Zesting citrus is even more fun than grating cheese, because with just a flick back and forth you get a shower of fragrant, colorful zest and not a jot of pith. And because you don’t need to apply much force to get the goods, you don’t risk scraped knuckles. To gild the lily, the ­company that makes the rasp, Grace Manufacturing, now makes more models: a narrow profile rasp with an easy-to-grip ­handle (for a tool junkie, maybe not as ­serious looking, but much easier to hold—I like it better); a wider, flatter rasp with a handle and a plastic frame; and another wide-body model with larger teeth for a coarser result. For more in­formation or to order, visit www.microplane.com.

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