I know it’s not fashionable to grate parmesan cheese; you should pare it into thin slices and artfully strew it over your grilled asparagus, French beans or whatever. However there are times when only grated is going to work best, I’m thinking of the finishing touch of parmesan stirred into a risotto before serving or sprinkled lavishly over your spag bog.

Obviously the finer it’s grated the faster and more efficiently it will diffuse and while the standard cheese grater has a fine side, it does tend to waste a lot of cheese through being stuck to the holes and it’s not the easiest thing to use when your block of parmesan has got small.

My mother had one of those old tin graters for parmesan; it required three hands to work it properly and was inclined to disassemble itself if the cheese was a bit hard. Some are now made of steel but the design is still terrible.

Ah but here is the Microplane version and it’s perfectly designed. Firstly it only has two parts, the drum and the handle system so is a doddle to use, second the drum is conical which allows the grated cheese to fall out easier and not clog the machine and thirdly of course it has Microplane blades.

These are the famous photo- etched, ultra-sharp fine blades found on all Microplane products, so sharp that you need apply only the lightest pressure for them to power through your cheese. The fine holes create fine, snowy grated cheese that is so light that even the smallest piece of cheese becomes a mountain of fluff once grated and the design means that nothing is left behind in the loading area.Do wash the grater immediately though, or at least immerse in water. Any dried cheese will glue rock hard to the microplane blades and those blades will shred your washing-up sponges in seconds leading to your significant other entering the living room holding the tattered remains aloft with a ‘wtf?’ expression. I know this for a fact.

This is one great grater, another winner from Microplane and one I think that can be relied on for many many years thanks to its quality construction.