If I could rebuy any one of my kitchen essentials again it would be my Microplane. There are few things in my kitchen that get to see the light of day as often as my handy-dandy, jack-of-all-trades Microplane (except maybe my stove or coffee machine). No other tool seems capable of turning thick citrus skin into fluffy piles of fragrant zest or transforming jaw-cracking nuts into a fine dusting. It’s a real miracle worker in the kitchen and one of those indispensable time-saving gadgets.

While there are many different knockoff brands of the original Microplane, my preference is definitely the original. I love the handle shape and the fact that it has a rubber grip so that when I’m hurriedly shaving off shreds of Parmesan cheese I can keep a grip. Also, I love the narrow width of the grater itself so you can safely grip your food (and not accidentally grate your fingers. Ouch.).

Here are six foods you can grate using a Microplane:


You know those beautifully sprinkled chocolate shavings that make desserts look like works of art you almost don’t want to eat? Yes, a Microplane does that. Leave flecks of chocolate on your ice cream or give your whipped cream a crown of chocolate shavings. It’s so easy and it will never fail to make your dessert look (and taste) just that much better.


Freshly ground spices are so much more powerful and nuanced than the pre-ground variety that comes in jars. But dragging out a spice grinder or a pestle and mortar is a real pain. Luckily, with a Microplane you won’t have to anymore. Run your favorite spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, or anise over a Microplane and watch the magic happen. Dust your drinks or scent your salad dressing. You’ll be able to have fresh spices at your fingertips whenever you need them.


Never touch a sliced chili with your bare hands again. With a Microplane, you can add just a little bit of heat to any dish without getting the capsaicin on your hands. Plus, because you’ll be able to slice a pepper so finely, you can concentrate just the flavorful heat in your dish and avoid having large chunks of vegetable taste interrupt the continuity of your flavor profile.


Ginger is a fibrous root that can be extremely challenging to chop up. Often it ends up unevenly minced and distributes the flavor irregularly through your dish. Change things up by turning your ginger into a paste which will melt effortlessly into all your meals.

Hard Cheese

Forget cumbersome box graters! If you need a quick sprinkle of cheese on pizza, popcorn, or pasta, just whip out your handy dandy Microplane and give your cheese a few passes over the grater; you’ll suddenly have a fluffy mountain of cheese sitting atop whatever dish it was intended for.


Aren’t you envious of those chefs who’ve mastered that garlicky taste without leaving any trace of garlic clove in your dish? Yeah, they’re using a Microplane. When you run a clove of garlic over a Microplane you’ll find that it gives you a wonderful paste that mixes effortlessly into any dish — without you having to waste your time trying to dice it finely enough so that one bite won’t be more overpoweringly garlicky than the next.

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(Images via Amazon)