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Who Doesn't Use a Microplane Grater


Shel_B
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The grater ( http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/312Sz19u%2BtL._SY450_.jpg) seems almost to be a ubiquitous item in the kitchens of every friend I know who cooks.  Even Toots, who cares very little for cooking, has and uses one.

 

So, my questions are, if you don't use one, why, and what do you use in its stead?

 ... Shel


 

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There is nothing that can be used "in its stead." since it grates in a specific way.  If I want something grated very fine and fluffy, I use one of my 3 microplanes. If not, I use a box grater, which my grandmother used to make potato latkes. When grating nutmeg, I use a nutmeg grater. When grating ginger, I use a ginger grater.

 

Also, what lindag said.

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Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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Not every one can afford to pay  32 dollar for a grater, does it make them less of a good cook?

 

For me 32 dollar  for me is  a lot of money, for example it would buy me     350 gram  fresh salmon,  3 kilo potatoes, 500 gram good tomatoes,  2 x 2 kilo bags of flour  , 1½ liter milk ,  1½ lactose free milk,  500 grams of butter.

 

If I want anything fluffy and  fine I have a  old almond grater that is ace.

Cheese is you friend, Cheese will take care of you, Cheese will never betray you, But blue mold will kill me.

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I don't have one and I've never had one.

 

So how did the general population manage before the Microplane®?

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~Martin :)

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I have three. Each one cost $7 at TJ Maxx. I have the one you pictured, another that makes ribbons (about 1/2' wide), and one with larger teeth for more coarse grating/planing.

42101m_380.jpg40021u_380.jpg

I have never used a regular grater that does as good of a job.

I imagine we managed the same way people cooked proteins before sous vide.

Edited by lordratner (log)
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I have several microplane graters and "regular" old-fashioned graters of various types.  For some tasks the old type work better for me than the MPs.

The box graters that have both fine and coarse sides are handy and I find the "ripple" cutting sides better for grating onions and certain types of semi-dry cheeses. 

 

The MP graters are okay for zesting a small amount of citrus but are time consuming when one needs more than a tablespoons of zest.

 

 I often zest a lot - several fruits, either orange, lemon or grapefruit or Mexican limes  to make citrus syrup.

 

I use a vegetable peeler to "skin" the fruits, allow it to dry a bit for a couple of hours or if in a hurry stick it in the dehydrator for 30 minutes or so.

Then I use a spice grinder to reduce the thin pieces of peel to fluffy zest, producing half a cup to a cup at a time depending on which machine I use.

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"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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I have two microplane hand graters (one normal, one from Pampered Chef that optionally stands up) and the box grater.  I never use the box grater and rarely use the others - about the only time I use them is for zesting a whole citrus or grating ginger.  I didn't know there was a special one for that.

Edited by mgaretz (log)
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Mark

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I have three, and I think they're one of the greatest inventions since the wheel. I also have a box grater, and I sometimes use that when I want things more coarsely grated. But lemon rind on a box grater? Even the fine holes? It tears the entire lemon apart. Try a microplane, you'll never go back. I usually grind a lot of ginger at one time in the food processor, put it in a ziplock bag and press it flat, then freeze it. Break off bits of ginger as you need it, works great. But wait -- a food processor? Why use a food processor when I can use a box grater? :wacko:

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I have never had one. For ginger I use this multipurpose guy from the Japanese 98cent store. The fixed blade does thin slices of cucumber, daikon and the like. I use a lot of citrus zest in my cooking but remove with a swivel peeler and generally pound with the salt in the mortar and pestle or slice finely. 

 

For those calling them indispensable - what is regular use?  When I hear microplane I think of the rasp looking tool  Shel links in post #1 . The rest seem more like a hand held paddle grater versus box grater. 

 

 

photo (75).JPG

 

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I have several types, I like them. I also got the food guard/pusher attachment to speed things up and keep bits of finger out of my food.

 

That said, I still use an old style fine grater on a handle for Parmesan cheese to get a superfine snow-like texture for making pasta al burro e parmigiano,  aka the real original Alfredo sauce.

 

For potatoes, I use a grater on a handle that is extra sharp and grates in both directions.

 

I like graters on handles and always hated the box grater. When I went out on my own in my 20s, I made a point to buy graters on handles.

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Got my first Microplane from Lee Valley - the hubby gave it to me for Christmas - it was a rasp for woodworking but he had been told that some people were using them in the kitchen.  I have collected a number of others over the years with different sized and shaped rasps - each has a different thing that it does well.  Don't recall ever paying a lot for them - got most from clearance places like Winners and Homesense.  I got a free one for doing my feet at the Toronto Gift Show.  It's one of my favourites!

 

I also have a couple of nice box graters - work better for other things.  Don't care for grating cheddar cheese with a microplane.  

 

I like a Zyliss rotary grater with the big blade for hard cheeses like parmesan.  

 

Proud to be one of the "inn" crowd!

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I have three, and I think they're one of the greatest inventions since the wheel. I also have a box grater, and I sometimes use that when I want things more coarsely grated. But lemon rind on a box grater? Even the fine holes? It tears the entire lemon apart. Try a microplane, you'll never go back. I usually grind a lot of ginger at one time in the food processor, put it in a ziplock bag and press it flat, then freeze it. Break off bits of ginger as you need it, works great. But wait -- a food processor? Why use a food processor when I can use a box grater? :wacko:

I use my microplane quite a bit for zesting citrus. Does a great job on garlic and ginger too. Hard cheese like Parmesan become fine and fluffy on the microplane. Great for adding parm to a salad dressing or a topping dishes.
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Microplanes are very fun and useful gadgets but a sharp knife and a mortar and pestle  can do most of what they do  equally as well.  The knife work can take a bit more skill though.  the only thing I would really  miss if I couldn't have one, is the fluffy mounds of parm a zester micro can produce. 

"Why is the rum always gone?"

Captain Jack Sparrow

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I have a single microplane (the citrus zester fine one) and a regular box grater. I mostly went to the microplane for fine stuff because it takes much less physical effort on my part, ime, to grate stuff on the microplane, which keeps the arthritis in my wrists a bit happier.

Recently I also obtained the long term loan of a food processor with a shredding disc, so the box grater is getting even less use. Still, there are some things where you want the texture you get from one method over another. Potato pancakes, for example, I must make by grating with a box grater or else they don't turn out with the "right" texture - presumably because I'm expecting something like my grandmother used to make, and she only had a box grater. :)

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There is no better grater for hard cheeses like parmigiano. That the Microplane is made in Arizona but found all over Italy and the rest of Europe at significantly higher pricing than found in the U.S., despite the weak dollar, must be chalked up to quality and utility, not marketing. And Shel, here's hoping that you get that TV soon. It can provide welcome relief from the Internet for you!

P.S. I have three also, but in fairness, two are the same model with different-colored handles...

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Bill Klapp

bklapp@egullet.com

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I have more than three.  all gotten on sale.  they change models from time to time like cars, so the last model is on sale.

 

this one :

 

Micro.jpg

 

makes incredibly 'fluffy' parmesan grated cheese.

 

I also got my first 'rasp' from Lee Valley in CAN,  a fine woodworking and tool firm in Canada

 

i got many tools from them that were unique

 

it was so long ago everything from Canada was 20 % 'off' to the USA

 

then after years and years they added a store just S. of the border in upstate NY

 

clever they were

 

:huh:

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What hasn't yet been mentioned about a microplane is that with the very fine, fluffy shreds of cheese, I find that I don't need as much. I get a much more even distribution of the shredded cheese, more even than with a rotary grater, so that a little bit of cheese goes a very long way. Both my pocketbook and my waistline appreciate this.

MelissaH

Oswego, NY

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Here is a photo of all (I think) of my microplane graters  and my large box grater (made in Santa Barbara, CA),

a "safety" wire grater that is used only for softer cheeses,

in the lower left there is a large ginger grater made of glass that I inherited from my grandmother - there is a well around the central raised portion which makes it much easier and more efficient to use than the little ones commonly found in Asian stores.

There is a rotary nutmeg grater and the little red-handled extra-fine grater is for cinnamon sticks. 

 

The fine grater with the white plastic handle and catch chamber is for Sap Sago (Schabziger) cheese and I got it free when I bought a cone of the cheese many years ago - it is made in Switzerland. 

 

Also a closeup photo of the ginger grater.  I do have a little microplane ginger grater but it is not very efficient and it stuck in a drawer somewhere.  I think I used it once.

 

The two microplanes on the left came with a "carrier" for using them safely without damage to the fingers.  The "double" one has a sliding plastic cover so one can use either end as a "handle" without damage to the hands. 

graters9.JPG

Graters detail ginger.jpg

 

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"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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thank you  

andiesenji

 

for the above pics.  the MP in the top pic, third from the L, hasnt been seen here for some time.  I hunted it down and will use it tonight !  it was hiding in a drawer when it was supposed to be next to its friends.

 

the 4th L to R  top pic has an interesting pattern on the top 1/2  you grate L to R on that or up and down ?

 

Ive never seen that pattern.  have to hunt one down.

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