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Old 05-26-2006, 07:40 PM   #1
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Grating Parmesan Problems

Okay, one hand is permanently attached to the grater and the other hand keeps grabbing bits and pieces of cheese and forcing it between my tightly clinched teeth. :( I know this is going to sound stupid, but does anyone have a fast, easy way to grate cheese? My fingers hurt. :(

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Old 05-26-2006, 07:59 PM   #2
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Most Italian delis sell it in plastic containers, freshly grated on the premises.
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Old 05-26-2006, 08:07 PM   #3
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It really is best freshly grated, it will lose quite a lot of flavour if you buy it pre-grated.

My solution to you, buy a Microplane grater, they are fantastic. I have two of them (one is the fine grater, the other is called 'medium ribbon' I think) and they never let me down no matter what I'm grating whether it be cheese, chocolate or vegetables.

I suggest you buy the fine grater because it works wonders on parmesan but is also the best thing for finely zesting lemons and other associated citrus fruit.
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Old 05-26-2006, 08:18 PM   #4
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Agree with Haggis, as usual, the microplane graters are great.

The only ones we have found however are fairly small and, while great for a bit of cheese, the ones we have found are not up to doing the amount we often need with any expediency.

So we go back to the old box grater.

Have found that they do not work as well when old rather than new.

So buy a new one every now and again (they are about the cheapest cooking item I have ever found).

But am hoping someone comes along and tells me a better way to go.

Take care.
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Old 05-26-2006, 09:17 PM   #5
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The micro-plane graters are great ... and come in different widths from a little over an inch wide up to 4-5 inches wide. Obviously, the wider the grater the more you get with less effort.

For something like "table service" amounts they make rotary cheese graters that look like a garlic press with a handle on the side you turn to turn the rotary grater.

If you're looking to do it in bulk ... have to got a food processor? Grate the cheese using the "fine" grating disk. Then, if it is not fine enough, you can put in the steel-blade and process the grated cheese in small batches ... pulsing it a few times until it is as fine as you want.
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Old 05-26-2006, 09:38 PM   #6
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I didn't think about that, thanks Michael. :) Have already grated 3 lbs worth, so will wait until that is gone before doing any more. I am working on grating crackers now and yes, I am using a food processor to do it. :)
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Old 05-26-2006, 09:46 PM   #7
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Microplane now has a box grater out.... the best of both worlds...

http://www.microplane.com/34005.shtml
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Old 05-27-2006, 12:08 AM   #8
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i like different sizes of grated cheese for different dishes, so i use a box grater which goes from extremely small, to large jullienne-like curls, with a shaver blade also. if i need it more powdered, i'll use a stick blender attachment that acts like a mini double blade food processor.for pasta dishes, i like very small curls. on meat dishes or on something like linguini alla vongole, a little larger curl. in soups like escarole e fagiole, i like to shave the parm in finger length shavings, so it doesn't just disappear into the broth.
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Old 05-27-2006, 07:02 AM   #9
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I like my little Zyliss grater with a hand crank on the side. A company called Moulinex or something like that used to make a similar one, and I loved it as well. For big jobs I used my Salad Shooter -- it does not grate as finely, but I can grate the cheese, then put it back in the machine and do it again to make it a little finer. I HATE what I call knuckle scrapers. The Zyliss is perfect for a dinner where you just want cheese for individuals to put some as a garnish on their plates. When making a lasanga or something bigger, I use the salad shooter. The Zyliss isn't a one-trick-pony, I use it to grate spices, especially nutmeg, as well as hard cheeses. And no grated fingernails, fingertips, or knuckles. Lots faster, too.
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Old 05-27-2006, 10:46 AM   #10
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I have a Zyliss as well, and it's good, except when you're trying to grate the hard rind on Parmesan.

If you have a food processor, with a grating/shredding attachment, you can easily grate/shred cheese with that. The trick, is the plunger. You need to drill a couple small holes in the corners, then load the plunger with a little cornstarch. As you grate the cheese, shake a little cornstarch in. This keeps the cheese from sticking to anything and everything. With parmesan, you might not need to do this, but for cheddar, co-jack, or any medium-hard cheese, it's a god-send.
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