We’ve Been Grating Cheese Wrong Our Entire Lives

published Dec 18, 2023
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Confession: I detest grating cheese. I think of it as a necessary evil. The box grater is unwieldy, the little flakes of cheese it spits out always make a mess on my counter, and then, once I’m done grating the cheese, the grates proves frustrating to clean.

Of course, I’ve always positioned the cheese grater upright, which is how I have used this kitchen appliance my entire adult life. I never considered using it any other way. Turns out I, and probably many others, have been misled. There is actually a much easier way to use your cheese grater, and it’s incredibly simple: Just turn the grater on its side.

A few years ago, Bea Symons, a tattoo artist from England, posted the video of her updated cheese-grating method, and the world went mad. It seems so obvious, and yet Twitter’s reaction to the video proves I wasn’t the only one who had never thought of trying it.

Here’s how Symons’ method works: If the grater is on its side, you can move the block of cheese horizontally. The shredded cheese then falls into body of the grater, allowing you to simply dump it in a bowl when you’re done. This method avoids having to steady the upright cheese grater on a plate or in a bowl, giving you more control. Plus, when you grate the cheese vertically, you always run the risk of scraping your knuckles. Not so with the horizontal grating method, which ensures that your fingers go nowhere near the sharp metal grates.

You’re still going to have to clean it, though, which does present a challenge. Thankfully, we worked out the most efficient way to clean your cheese grater, and it involves a lemon wedge. If you’re ready to denounce the box grater altogether, you could always try out the Vremi cheese grater, which comes with four different blades and its own storage container that doubles as a basin to collect the shredded cheese.

Have you tried this method before?

This post originally appeared on Kitchn. See it here: You’ve Been Grating Cheese Wrong Your Entire Life