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Microplane Grater/Zester

I found out about the Microplane Grater/Zester a number of years ago watching the Urban PeasantJames Barber was so happy with this little tool he was almost giddy.  It’s a take on a rasp, a woodworkers tool that has metal teeth and can effectively shape wood in the hands of a skilled craftsman.  I watched as James took  a nice chunk of Parmigiano-Reggiano to the grater and had a beautiful mound of grated cheese in no time at all.

More recently, cooking show host Ina Garten, The Barefoot Contessa, has been seen using a Microplane Grater on her show.  Also, this zester is the exact brand recommended by America’s Test Kitchen!

It has gone through a few design changes over the years but it is basically the same device.  The tiny and very sharp metal edges are the secret to the microplane grater’s success.  It works wonders on either hard or medium cheeses, and you can also grate vegetables like garlic, ginger, and carrots (There is no more need for garlic presses!).  Execellent for releasing the freshness potential of whole spices like nutmeg and cinnamon as well. 

Note:  If you are looking to grate soft cheeses and onions, give the Microplane Professional Patented Design Coarse Grater a try.

In addition, it still remains as one of the best ways to zest citrus fruits.  You can easily use this on lemons, limes or oranges and not get any of the bitter white pith that usually accompanies the gratings from other gadgets.

The shape and size of this grater/zester is perfect to hold in your hand, and it features its trademark non-clogging teeth, so that you are not always stopping to remove residue from the back.  I especially like this model with its all stanless steel construction and handle… much easier to hold than the original Microplane Grater with no handle, and stronger than the one with the plastic handle.  Plus, the anti-slip rubber end really helps hold it in place during use.  And because the grating area is slightly rounded, grating with this is even easier than with the original flat version.  All in all, a useful and very well designed gadget!

Check it out at for more details.

As a Gift?

Great for anyone who doesn’t have it already, like the newly married, the newly cooking-for-ones-self, or the newly exposed to neat cooking gadgetry.

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