Graters are a great addition to your collection of kitchen utensils — you’ll need them both for cheese and vegetables. They come in many different sizes and shapes.
The box grater…
…which you can buy for less than $10 offers a different grating option on each of its four sides.
I have taken a wedge of Parmesan cheese…
…and shredded some on each side of the box grater.
It shreds from very fine…
…To slightly bigger…
…to even bigger shreds.
Then to what almost looks like fine slices of Parmesan.
Recipes should tell you if something should be finely grated or coarsely grated. Graters are very sharp and you have to be careful not to shred your knuckles along with the cheese (or vegetable) you are shredding! All you need to do is firmly hold onto the grater and with a downward stroke, start grating.
Flat graters work well and take up only a little space in the drawer. However, they only offer you only one choice for shredding size.
You can buy already-grated cheese in the dairy section of your grocery store. It is usually more expensive than grating your own block of cheese, but is certainly convenient. However, note that store-bought grated cheese dries out very quickly.
Many types of cheese, such as the Gruyere that I use in making my quiche, are not available in a grated format.
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