Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Let's Be Brutally Honest: There Are Some Cheese Graters That Just Aggravate Me

I love pasta! I love several kinds of pasta to the point that I consume plenty of delicious pasta dishes. I also love pasta that is topped with some Pecorino Romano cheese, grated or sprinkled on top, and in large amounts, because it's such a delicious cheese! Recently, we had to replace our cheese grater, because it became worn to the point that the metal was beginning to flake off of it. It just so happened that this replacement was one from Giada De Laurentis' cooking line. I didn't like it! The grater looked thin like a spatula, had a mediocre grip, and the grater had slits that were placed on a slippery piece of metal. As I grated the cheese, I got very little results and I feared that I was going to grate my finger. I was not satisfied and I told myself that I would find a new grater.

My complaint with cheese graters these days seems to be greater, because as I went shopping for a new one, they were all relatively the same. I went to JC Penney and found two kinds of graters: a large grater with blades that were effective, but too large for what I was looking for (I wanted instant, immediate production, not mass, cooking for several people production) or the flimsy looks blades on a slippery surface. Many of these graters are used to add zest to meals as well, whether it be walnuts, lemons, or limes. I'm not looking to add zest to my pasta dinner, I want to add cheese to the point that it will top my pasta like it would when it snows.

I went to Bed Bath & Beyond and found many of the same kinds of graters, so I settled for a rotary grater that you grind and pour on top of your pasta, which is how they do it at Italian restaurants, most notably at the Olive Garden. Why the graters are structured the way they are, I have absolutely no idea. It just makes me feel uncomfortable to have to grate with flimsy blades that are just slits on a stainless steel rectangle. You only have the ability to grate it in one direction, otherwise the cheese easily slides off track like it's unable to ski properly. In that case, you risk grating your fingers, which I have come into contact with one of the graters, but that one seemed to be more of a zest grater. Nevertheless, they're all being made the same and I'm not fond of it! Not at all!

I am a believer in the "safety first" trend. Everything needs to be arranged so that it's as safe as possible. Even sky divers need to follow safety precautions so that they can have an enjoyable experience without getting hurt or even worse... killed. While these new cheese graters are becoming popular in the form of thinner, smaller slits in the board much like Giada did with hers, they are more of a burden to use. I don't think a company should have the motive of slicing fingers as their number one priority, because they will end up seeing several lawsuits from people who blame the grater for causing the accident when it was really the fact they were not paying attention to what they were doing. In the case of cheese graters, there is still an issue of how poorly structured these graters are becoming.

I find that the best cheese graters are the ones within sturdy, strong looking blades that appear on the large graters, but are also on the small graters in a way that they fit appropriately. These are the graters that have strong handles and you can grate up and down and have the same effect. The steel is also strong enough to the point that as long as you don't do anything silly, such as mishandle the cheese, chances are you're not going to grate your fingers in the process. The rotary graters that I described before and are used as restaurants like the Olive Garden are also safe to use. The blades are assertive, even though your hands are holding the handles (the one on the grater and the one that turns it) and not the cheese on the blade.

The best way to revolt against the trend that cheese graters are following is to do the very best you can at finding a grater with blades that are safe and effective with a grater that is all around useful. A flimsy grater in which you risk slicing your fingers and get little immediate production will see some use, but not enough for complete satisfaction. Chances are these flimsy graters would be the ones you see on "As Seen On TV" commercials and would be the reason someone would have to come up with a solution to such a problem. The flimsy, small slit blades on the slippery grater are becoming a culinary trend and it needs to be stopped.

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