“ Brand: Grasp / Type: Slicer / Grater „
* Prices may differ from that shown
=== Time For A Change ===
This was the Christmas present I didn't get. I make a lot of preserves, including lemon curd with grated zest added. I also make coleslaw, but for 2 of us it's not really necessary to use my food processor. One day I realised my old manual grater was past it - not surprising seeing it's over 30 years old. With Christmas coming, and my parents always wanting to know what I want so they can get me a 'surprise', I dropped a big hint.
Roll forward to the middle of January and I'm in possession of a sturdy looking piece of equipment - still a box grater, but a substantial item that actually came in a box! This wasn't in my stocking; my parents seem not to have taken the hint, or forgotten, more likely. I chose it myself.
===On The Lookout===
Having failed to find anything in any of our local stores, and to be fair we are somewhat limited, I was pleased to find I had the choice of several in a neighbouring town's Downtown store. I was tempted by one which seemed to offer the possibility of grating into its own container; this is hard to explain, but anyway on reflection it wasn't going to be easy to clean. I liked the look of the Grasp. It wasn't possible to test out in-store, of course, but with my daughter's help we ascertained that it would be stable on a work surface when in use. It seemed worth the £12 asking price - and it wasn't the most expensive at that. The only thing I wasn't sure about was that it didn't have a face for grating whole nutmeg as my old one did. Neither did the alternatives; I got round that by buying a small grater for the purpose at about £0.99.
===New To Me ===
Grasp is a new brand to me. Closer reading of the information on the box revealed that the parent company is Grunwerg, which initially I took to be German but is based in Sheffield, although the items are manufactured in China. Now I know Sheffield has a history in steel, and, being curious, I researched a little. Grunwerg is a family business that's been running for over 65 years with a wide range of products in the 'Housewares' market. Unfortunately their website seems to be for the trade only, but if you're interested in what else they do you could look at it:
At 9" tall and 4 sided, this takes up more storage space than my cheap old faithful. It's described as a 'professional, Deluxe model' and it looks the part. Other models are illustrated on the box and it seems as though this is the Big Daddy. It is guaranteed against defects from faulty materials or workmanship. A feature I particularly like is the provision of a non-slip top and bottom grip and foot; the first makes it comfortable to hold while using, and the second is indeed effective at stopping the grater from slipping. It doesn't actually say anywhere what the black material is made of, but it has a slightly rubberised feel.
The blades are described as non-clogging and razor sharp. On the side there is a removable sticker giving caution about their sharpness in 4 languages. All of the blades are shaped a little unusually, in my opinion. In this instance a picture is more useful than words, so I'm sorry I can't show you. On many graters, the basic shape is a circle, with the grating element kind of protruding. The Grasp models, however, present you with a rectangular shape, except for the front one where there's more of a slant. I can't describe it more successfully without going into far too much description.
===Performance Pros and Cons===
The front blades are for grating foodstuffs like cheese and carrots, which is fairly standard on graters like this. One side is for slicing cheese etc, and again it's a bit different, with a slight curve to the slit-like aperture. It slices a piece of strong Lincolnshire Poacher in no time! The other side and the back would be the ones I'd consider using for zesting as well as grating carrots and cheese more finely. I've discovered, in fact, that I can get 3 different sizes of gratings for carrots; I haven't yet used it much for other foodstuffs apart from simply grating cheese. I don't think it would give me a very fine grating for cheese, somehow.
It's taken a bit of getting used to, and to be honest I still have some way to go, which sounds daft for such a small item. There's no doubt that the blades are razor sharp. It's vastly different from my old one, and far superior. I find it does grate quickly and efficiently; so far I have had no problems with clogging. I have found that it's a good idea to use a brush on it when washing up [I don't have a dishwasher]. That helps to make sure all the small pieces of foodstuffs have been removed.
Bearing in mind that it came boxed, I'm slightly disappointed that there's no suggestions there for the uses of each blade. It's a case of trial and error. With the unusual shaping of the blades, it's not as obvious as it would be on a more standard piece of equipment.
My other slight niggle is the price I paid - £12 when it's currently available on Amazon for £8.40! However I don't think I would necessarily have bought this without seeing the actual item first. For those reasons I'm going to deduct one star and rate it at 4 when it should really get 5. It's a great bit of kit for the kitchen and I'm glad I bought it.
===Good To Grate===
And my Christmas present? A subscription to a gardening magazine. I thought that would be easy - not so! My father goes into the local W H Smiths and picks up my copy each month! At least I'll be able to grate my home-grown carrots efficiently!
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©Verbena February 2014