The cheese grater

Deployed in my kitchen yesterday to grate cheese, the plastic Mouli Grater:

(#1)

A wonderful piece of design: elegantly simple, useful, surprisingy sturdy (for a plastic tool), safe (no more skinned knuckles or fingertips), ambidextrous, adjustable (the high-end model comes with cylinders in three different grating sizes), and, in the plastic version, cheery.

From Wikipedia:

(#2) The original aluminum version

A Mouli grater or rotational grater is a hand-operated kitchen utensil designed for grating or pureeing small quantities of food. The device consists of a small metal drum with holes that grate the food and a handle for turning the drum.

The hand-held unit consists of two sections with hinged handles. The end of one handle contains a food hopper with a grating cylinder and a crank for rotating the cylinder. The other section has a rounded surface that acts as a clamp, pressing the food to be grated into the grating cylinder. The hinged handles are held in one hand and squeezed so that the food presses against the grating cylinder. Meanwhile, the other hand turns the crank, causing the cylinder to rotate and the food to be grated. Because the cylinder can be removed, the Mouli grater can be easily used by both left- and right-handed people by simply placing the grater with the crank on the preferred side.

The rotational grater was first patented in France in the 40’s. Mouli is a French brand name that became Moulinex in 1957, partly in response to the success of the electric coffee grinder of the same name

The grater is intended for small jobs, especially for grating relatively soft foods — cheese in particular, but also garlic, onions, and small potatoes. Bigger jobs and tougher foods (like carrots) call for more serious machines.

The Mouli grater replaces classic cheese graters, which come in two forms: box graters (usually four-sided) and flat graters. In aluminum:

(#3)

(#4)

The trick with these is to avoid skinned flesh. Ouch.

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