Monthly Archives: January 2010

me and my microplane

Alright it’s not massive news, but I bought a Microplane. Everyone goes on about Microplanes. If you watch television cookery programmes they all (them TV cooks) use Microplanes. Nigel Slater doesn’t usually endorse products but he endorses the Microplane. The “Ask Nigel” he endorses it in hasn’t made it to the Observer website, for some reason, unless, bizarrely, I imagined him endorsing Microplanes.

So yes, I paid ten times more (£22) than I could have paid for a Sainsbury’s box grater and got this Microplane, I feel compelled to write, but grater, whatever. It is, I keep reminding myself, only a grater.

It minces very well, which (ha!) I find attractive: it’s perfect for garlic and for fresh, zingy apple purée for Birchermuesli. It shaves featherlight curls of parmesan over pasta/risotto.

But I’m yet to get used to its tiny, vicious blades. My fingertips are in serious danger. A slightly blunt box grater I can rub my hand against, not for thrills, but to grate to the nub of a carrot, the nub of anything. And what about grating carrots? I have the coarse grade Microplane. Do I need the “supercoarse” if I don’t want minced carrot? For zest do I need “fine”? Do I need to shell out £60 on graters, because TV cooks use them?

I’m sure Microplane is like Apple. When you buy something made by Apple – at least when I first bought this Macbook – you feel acutely you’ve spent too much, when something cheaper, really, would have done. When you’ve got it, you like how modish it is, but find it slightly irritating because it seems, simply, not as practical as what you’re used to. But then it grows on you. People complain about how annoying it is and you feel a bit defensive. Though secretly you sort of agree; or did before. Eventually you love it, don’t know why you’d bother with anything else. You become evangelical about its superiority.

Well, something like that. It’s yet to happen with my shiny new Microplane, but I’ve only had it for a few days.



Writing about food suits me better than trying to be urbane and sounding irritating writing about restaurants. I need to be a grown-up to do restaurants.