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~ Pointless Purchase ~
Whilst my occasional shopping sprees in kitchen shops have produced some fun and useful buys, not all of them have been good choices and the Zeal mini pyramid grater is probably the best example I have of a total waste of (admittedly not much) money. I bought it for two reasons. The emotional one was that it was pink whilst the rational excuse was that the flat where I stay when I'm at work doesn't have much kitchen cupboard space and I thought a mini-grater would be a good compromise - a way to be able to grate without filling up my cupboard space. It helps of course that I don't eat all that much cheese and so barely need a grater at all. I seldom do much that you could call proper cooking during the week so it wasn't like I would need to sit down and grate a pound of carrots or a mountain of cheese. Surely it would be just what I needed.
It isn't what I need at all. I really don't need a grater in my flat and if I did, this wouldn't be the grater that I'd need. I think I was inspired when a friend turned up one New Years Eve with a mini grater and all the accoutrements for making mulled wine. As she whipped out a nutmeg and started shaving little bits off it, I had one of those "Could I ever be that cool and well prepared?" moments. The fact is that I've never grated a nutmeg in my life - what WAS I thinking of?
~Nice Things Come in Small Packages? ~
The Zeal mini pyramid grater is small enough to lose easily and too small to get much use out of it. It stands about 13 cm high and its base - the widest part - is square in shape and 5.5 cm across. The base has rubberised feet on the corners to make the grater 'anti-slip' though I wonder how much pressure you could be putting on a tiny grater to send it flying across the counter. The pink handle on the top of the grater is a sphere of rubbery pinkness which is pretty and functionally necessary - you need a way to pick up such a thing without grating your fingers.
There are four grating surfaces and each is the same size and is triangular. The fine grater is suitable for grating something like parmesan whilst the coarser side is suitable for cheaper cheese for making cheese on toast or sprinkling on a cauliflower cheese for example. The third surface is the one with the sticky out rough bits. You get this on most graters but I've never been entirely sure what it's for. My gran used to grate lemon zest on this type of surface but I don't use it. The final surface has a single slot to make a wider slice of........who knows what? If I was slicing a carrot this would drive me crazy. If I wanted to slice cheese, it's just not wide enough. It's all really rather pointless.
The only use I can think of for a titchy grater like this would be to put it on the table to freshly grate parmesan onto pasta. The world would continue to turn and civilisation wouldn't come to an end if you grated it with a more convenient bigger grater in the kitchen and served pre-grated in a bowl. I wouldn't even condemn anyone for buying pre-grated parmesan - who am I to judge? I bought a pointless mini-grater.
Aside from the fact that you could grow old and grey before you'd got enough cheese to stick on a slice of toast, this grater is horrible to clean. On the plus side it's stainless steel so it won't rust but on the minus side, the pyramid shape means you can't easily get a cloth or a dish-washing brush into the middle to clean it.
I've only used my grater a few times and it has frustrated me each time, both in use and when I come to clean it. It's pretty enough but that's just not enough to compensate for its short comings. I'm going to stick it in the bag for the charity shop - it's just not worth wasting any more time with it. But I'll be buying a normal sized grater instead because I cleared out my kitchen cupboards and now that all the Ryvita with 2007 'best before dates' has been binned, I've easily got enough space to buy a proper grater that does what it should.
This should be treated as a pretty novelty but it's not up to the job of actually grating stuff. Shame - it's pretty, but pretty pointless. You can pick one up in many kitchen shops for well under a fiver or online from around £3 but watch out for postage charges.