Tuesday, March 25

Only in Italy...Military Issued, Cheese Grater

For those times during battle when you just can’t go without grated Parmesan over your pasta, the Italian Army and Cantoni designed this rustic yet hardy cheese or bread grater - meant to stand the test of time! There may be a war, but that’s no time to compromise quality or class...you wouldn't eat your pasta over cooked so why eat it without grated parm? Not on your life. After all, there are priorities, even in the field.

The sturdy box grater is serious, and has to be, in order to cope with a block of aged, knife busting Parmesan. This grater is really simple. Open it up and you will see a "piano roll" full of stainless steel spikes. A large crank on the side turns this roll. Place the cheeses on the platform, close the door applying pressure on the cheese and crank. Pull open the drawer to remove the fresh grated cheese. It's that simple and comes out perfect every time!! 

We found this kitchen tool when we first moved into our farmhouse seven years ago and had no idea what it was until about a year ago when a neighbor asked why we have such a nice cheese grater up on the shelf as decoration in a guest apartment....What?! Come?! We were flabbergasted for two reasons: 1. We assumed (without looking too closely) that it was a coffee grinder 2. I hate grating cheese by hand, almost as much as I hate grating chocolate for tiramisu (and the melted mess). Now before you think I'm pampered or a wuss - that's because with our cooking classes & dinners, I'm grating over a kilo of cheese at a time in a hot kitchen & my arms get tired...ok that does sound wussy.  We have been 'in the market' for a cheese grater for sometime now and to discover, unbeknownst to us there has been a fully functioning, military-grade grater sitting on a shelf in our house the whole time, is hysterical! 

I've been cranking away ever since and not only is the work easier & faster, it's almost always done for me by guests eager to try it out themselves once they hear the story! (Now, I've just got to figure out what to do about the chocolate...)

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