30 September, 2008

A Wicked Cool Garlic Grater.

So my brother-in-law came back from a trip to Italy with this bitchen stoneware pottery garlic grater that I totally fell in love with as soon as I saw it. It was this little hand-thrown piece of stoneware with a pointy grater texture in a central spiral pattern. Very nice; rubbing a clove of garlic on it turns the garlic into a lovely smooth paste and leaves behind the stringy bits.

Then last week I went to The Big E. We were on our way out of the fairgrounds when one of the sales hucksters caught my eye - he was demonstrating the type of stoneware garlic grater that I had so admired in my brother-in-law's kitchen! The ones the Garlic Man were selling didn't have the rustic charm of the funky-looking grater my brother-in-law bought, but it works just as well and it was, after all, still hand crafted in Europe.  Plus, the charming yellow glaze goes well in my sunny yellow kitchen.

So, just what is this thing good for, you ask? Well, the teeth are fairly sharp in a ceramic way - not sharp enough to do any damage to your skin or fingernails, but devastating to stuff like garlic and gingerroot. In fact, it does a better job at pasting garlic than anything I've ever tried - garlic presses, smearing with the side of my chef's knife, you name it, this is better and just as fast. When you use it to grate garlic, it makes a perfectly smooth garlic paste. The grater works just as well on ginger root - pulping it and leaving the strings and tough bits completely behind - and on nutmeg, rendering the nut into a beautiful, finely grated powder. Similarly, it's excellent for grating hard table cheese like parmesan or romano.

On one of the websites I visited that peddles this type of grater, they mentioned that they're good for zesting citrus peel as well but I tried that and found it very difficult, probably for the same reason that the grater doesn't cut skin - the peel kind of bends around the teeth and doesn't readily cut.

I don't have any brands to recommend. As far as I can tell, the differences in the various ceramic graters are purely cosmetic regardless of where they are purchased or who makes them. I can only tell you that if you use finely grated garlic you will LOVE one of these and they are totally worth the price, even if you never ever use it for ginger, nutmeg, or cheese. Just do a Google search for ceramic garlic grater and follow the results.


GourmetGrater.com is the website for the garlic grater we bought.  They're made in a variety of different colors and patterns, and each of them is handcrafted in Spain.  They also carry herb mills and other accessories - if you'e looking for a garlic grater you might want to check them out.


Michele said...

I've never seen these....I think they are a fantastic idea! I must have one now. Just so you know I'll be spending my morning looking for one.

Thanks BTW for the comment about your wallet. It gave me a good laugh and made me spit coffee out of my nose all at the same time. :-)

Apples and Butter said...

I saw these on a recent trip and ended up not buying one. Now you have me regretting that decision. Looks like it does a great job!

Anonymous said...

that thing is brilliant...or bitchen, as you put it.

kindageeky said...

totally bitchen! I'm on the hunt for mine!

Just Cook It said...

Such a nice item. We used to sell something similar called a Garlic Card. Not sure if they're available in the US but they are pretty popular throughout Europe


Anonymous said...

IMCG is the US importer of these wonderful grater sets. You can order direct from them. Toll free 1-877-381-7259 or info@imcg.us

Ann said...

I just bought one and the guy I bought if from says it's great to grate you garlic, brush it aside then grate your ginger. Great combo taste for stir fry!

Bonnie Bee said...

Hello - I am a potter in Seagrove , NC and I make these graters by hand. Contact me at greatwhiteoakgallery.com for more details. Thanks !

pitchman said...

I bought a ceramic garlic grater at the Home and Garden show in Phoenix,AZ. It is made in Spain.I saw some that were made in China at a farmers market and bought it but it does not work as well as the one from Spain. These are terrific gifts so I looked online and found the "made in Spain"graters at Bloomingifts.net.