For my first Christmas home after being away at college, my dad gave me a microplane. “This tool is invaluable,” he said gravely. I laughed and thanked him and thought maybe he was being a little dramatic.
A decade later, I’ve been proved horribly wrong. The microplane is my most-used kitchen tool and I evangelize it to anyone who will listen and force it on friends as a housewarming gift. I use it to grate cheese, especially hard cheeses like parmesan; to grate nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger and other spices; to shave fennel; to zest citrus; and more.
If you already have a cheese grater, the Microplane might sound redundant, but it’s faster and easier to use, producing heaps of pecorino for cacio e pepe in no time. When it comes to citrus, the ultra-sharp blades are designed with a special tooth set that takes the colorful, flavorful rind while leaving the white, bitter pith behind. Whether you’re adding zest to baked goods or over cocktails, the Microplane is your best friend.
There are many iterations of the Microplane (one to julienne carrots, one to slice veggies into rounds), but the classic is my favorite. The long shape makes it easy to glide across a block of cheese and it’s narrow enough to use on nuts and spices without trouble.
It’s made of surgical grade stainless steel, so it stays sharp and doesn’t rust. I’ve had mine for 10 years and have no need for a new one. It sticks to magnetic knife strips and is dishwasher safe, and bonus points for the multiple color options on the BPA-free plastic handle.
Fun fact: the microplane started as a woodworking tool, proof that even the most utilitarian things can spark joy.
Microplane Premium Classic Series Zester Grater
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