In my memory, it was a big metal thing that could be bought on the markets (from the guy who sold a bewildering number of knives and savers), you needed a certain amount of grip to use it, but it grated pretty much anything and it looked a lot like this:
Over time, like almost everything else that was manual for that matter, it disappeared, replaced by robots, robo-cutters, or electric graters, which are much easier to operate.
The problem with food processors is that they run very fast, too fast even to grate properly, and that they have an annoying tendency to make very thin, very small pieces, too much I think, and on top of that to produce a bit of juice.
For a raw carrot or beet salad, it's not too bad, but for celery (future celery remoulade) or potatoes (future potatoes) or cooked vegetables, it's not good at all, it's much too thin, almost crushed, whereas in these 2 cases at least, you want long and well shaped pieces.
The manufacturers of kitchen equipment have of course reacted since a long time, and propose electric graters, which turn more slowly, and give good results it is necessary to recognize it.
But at the same time, we are witnessing a comeback of grandma's vegetable grater, entirely manual, but in more modern materials (stainless steel, plastic), never breaks down, consumes 0 kw, and is easily washed under water
It's often a good option to go back to the basics, to the things that stand the test of time, and the vegetable grater is one of them.
What to choose?
- If you already have an electric grater, don't change anything, or if you're looking to save energy, switch to a manual grater.
- If you already have "something that turns fast" like a food processor, it's really worth it to switch to a vegetable grater, and it's not necessary to get an electric one. A manual grater, like the one above, costs about 20 euros, and is very suitable for a family.
Be careful though, don't get a cheap grater, made of fragile plastic, which will break quite quickly. As always for the material, you have to pay the price, it is an investment in time.The price is forgotten, the quality remains
We realize that 50 years later, some of our grandmother's tools still work very well, and that we have not done better since.
Same thing for the vegetable mill, but it is another subject...
You've probably noticed that I'm very attached to cooking with children, I often talk about it, convinced that it's the first and most efficient way to fight junk food.
Well, you can very well entrust children with the manual vegetable grater, they don't risk hurting themselves, and the effort to be made is rewarding for them (a little discreet help can sometimes be necessary).
They will be proud to help prepare the carrot salad, next Sunday's starter.To sum up
: To grate vegetables, nothing beats a good manual grater.
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