Parmesan cheese or Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, native to provinces in and around Italy, belongs to the hard-granular cheese family. There are many variants of Parmesan cheese, depending on how long it has been aged and which part of the globe it has been prepared. In Italy itself, Parmesan cheese is made in different manner in different areas of the country.
Among all the different varieties of cheese, the Parmesan cheese is the easiest to distinguish, due to its grainy texture and buttery yellow color. The strong flavor of this particular cheese makes it irresistible both as a flavor-enhancing ingredient as well as a flavored cheese. Parmesan cheese is the sole ingredient that brings many dishes to life, the likes of which include pear and fennel salad and slow-simmered minestrone. Most dishes only require a few curls of the cheese shavings, which is why you require cheese graters in your kitchen.
Many different varieties of cheese graters exist, all of which has holes with smooth edges on one side and corresponding rough edges on the other side. The most common shape of cheese grater is the flat handle version made from stainless steel. In comparison to metallic handle, wooden handles are a lot more comfortable and hence generally preferred. Although the functional utility of the cheese grater only require a grater head and a handle, there are various stylish versions, which can be used at the dinner table in-front of your visitors. Due to the uniform shape, size and alignment of the holes, even-sized cheese flakes are created; essential to ensure the right amount of cheese shaving is used at all times.
Another popular type of Parmesan grater consists of a wooden design and has an oval shape, which is ideal for use by hand. The cheese passes through a metallic grater plate. Most graters are mechanical in nature in order to give a greater control of size and thickness of flake and the amount of cheese shavings generated in an hour.
There are several different novel designs for cheese graters and while all the different graters provide the same level of functionality, the unique design makes them novelty items. Once such design is a rotary grater, called a parmesan mill, which has a built in compartment which holds the cheese while applying pressure and grating away on its edges. Although there are several electric cheese graters, application of such devices are mostly restricted to restaurants and bakeries, where the graters are put to heavy use.