The Microplane Grater is one of TV chef’s popular fetish objects. Does it work? Are they any good? Yes it works pretty darn well.
The Microplane Grater looks like a wood rasp and was really derived from one. The Microplane company makes a wide variety of kitchen tools and woodworking tools, too!
And in fact they make quite bunch of graters alone. The one we favor is the zester grater: it comes with a little picture on the package of a lemon, a block of cheese and a ginger root. For fun, we tried all of these on our grater with the results shown in the pictures. It does a grate job on zesting a lemon, and grating cheese or ginger root. And unlike the wood rasp, you can just toss it in the dishwasher.
It work best on hard, dry foods like the lemon and Parmesan cheese and fairly dry ginger root. It really doesn’t work that well on moister foods like carrots, making the grating too small: rapidly turning the carrot in mush. For carrots, you’d do better with an ordinary box grater or a food processor.
One word of caution. For fibrous foods like ginger root, you’ll need to scrub the thing out with a dish brush to remove the fibrous residue before putting it into the dishwasher.
For cheese and for lemon zesting, it is unsurpassed. And it works well on chocolate, too. And from Microplane or Amazon, it's only $8.95 to $12.95.