Grater, also known as shredder, is a kitchen equipment used to grate various food items into very fine or same sized pieces. Similar sized food pieces ensure even cooking, melting or baking. A device made of various materials, it is available in steel, porcelain, plastic or wood.
It is available in various shapes and sizes and perforated sharp blades. The equipment comes in different sized grating slots meant to grate or shred food in very fine, medium and coarse textures. Food items such as vegetables, nutmeg, coconut, cheese, ginger, chocolate or fruit zest are some items that are commonly grated. The grater is also known as shredder in some places.
The grater was first invented in the 16th century, sometime around the 1540s by Francois Boullier and quickly became popular for its use in the culinary world. Prior to its invention, grating vegetables or cheese very finely, in daily cooking was not always possible. The invention helped speed up the process of preparing food, by grating multiple food items. Grating produces even sizes of the food which helps in uniform cooking or baking.
Types of Grater
Flat Grater – This is the most commonly used grater in most kitchens across the globe, mainly because it is inexpensive and for its ease of storing and cleaning. It may be made of stainless steel, iron, wood, plastic or even porcelain. It is easy to store and also easy to clean. It is also dishwasher safe. This type of grater can be simply placed over a bowl or a plate and the vegetables or cheese grated on it. It is comparatively inexpensive in comparison to other types of graters.
Rotary Grater – This type of grater is also popular in most household kitchens. The grater comes with a stainless steel grating drum and a handle, both of which are assembled into the main machine for easy grating. Both of these parts can be removed for easy cleaning. It is one of the types of manual graters but is more convenient because of its rotary action and ensures a higher quantity of food items to be grated in lesser time. It is good for grinding cheese, nuts and so on.
Box Grater – The Box Grater is made like a box having four sides, each with a different size of grating slot. This is also called a multi-sided grater as it enables to obtain fine, medium, coarse and very fine grating, from a single tool. Also the grated food gets collected in the box neatly.
Ginger Grater – This is specially used to grate ginger for various dishes or making various cocktails and drinks. This is a small and narrow grater with very fine holes which have a sharp blade to enable proper grating.
Zest Grater – This type of grater is typically used to grate the zest of lemons and other citrus fruits. Some brands like Microplane manufacture a zest grater which is a very small and narrow grater with small holes but sharp blade that helps to grate the zest of the citrus fruits, used in various dishes. This too is dishwasher safe, as well as easy to clean by hand.
Nutmeg Grater – This type of grater has very tiny holes but with a sharp blade which works well for even something hard like nutmeg. It is used to grate nutmeg for drinks or other dishes where nutmeg is used as a garnish.
Electric Grater – This is one of the most convenient equipment for grating . This is most useful for restaurants and catering businesses. However, people suffering from illnesses such as arthritis or other illness which makes manual vegetable or cheese grating a pain for them, find the electric grater a great solution to their everyday cooking. Electric Grater can be corded, cordless or battery operated, however, cordless is the most preferred one for its ease of use. Electric Grater come in various sizes and prices and can be used for grating just about anything ranging from vegetables and fruit zest to cheese.
How to Buy a Grater
To buy a grater, it must come from a good brand with the quality of the blade. The material used to make the blade must be steel which is durable, and long lasting. The blade should have multiple slots for all kinds of grating or shedding. It must be cleaned easily manually or in the dishwasher.
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