Did you know what the fourth side is used for?
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You can follow a recipe with competence, have a few signature dishes under your belt, and even boast to coworkers that you’re somewhat of a “foodie”…But do you understand what the cheese grater’s fourth side is for?
After a Reddit member shared a picture of his own cheese grater, showcasing the side with the fewest holes, food enthusiasts were perplexed by the pockmarked piece of stainless steel.
Does anyone ever use this portion of the grater, he questioned? What even is it for?
In a comment, the user added: ‘All this has ever done is hurt my hand, but I’ve literally never used those small hole graters ever. Pretty much just use the other side for making grated cheese.’
And it turns out that u/MrLewk wasn’t the only one who was unsure; hundreds of individuals also struggled to come up with a convincing response.
One person commented: ‘It’s for getting the bl***y thing stuck in the kitchen drawer and tearing a chunk of the front of the drawer off.’
An equally confused Reditter wrote: ‘I have this exact one… and I’ve also assumed it was to make the cheese bit smaller after grating. ‘All it does though however, is f*** your hand up when you miss hold it… mf… scrapes a good knuckle…’
While another joked: ‘It’s very handy for shredding cleaning sponges.’
Fortunately, some astute chefs shared their knowledge of how to utilise the dreaded fourth side.
One person wrote: ‘Took years to figure out, parmesan and lemon/orange/lime zest is best shredded on those two sides.’
A second suggested: ‘Zest hard cheese, garlic, nutmeg, or maybe ginger to make a paste.’ Another person added: ‘Potato pancakes come out great with this side!’
The smallest holes on the grater “produce the finest strands of cheese,” according to MarthaStewart.com’s food experts, who have since chimed in on the controversy.
‘If you want to replicate the pre-grated hard cheese sold in plastic tubs or cardboard cans at the grocery store, choose this side. It should produce a consistency so fine that the cheese easily dissolves into salad dressings, sauces, and casseroles,’ they wrote.
They continued: ‘This side is also used to grate nutmeg and zest citrus. It’s also the one most likely to cut your knuckles if you’re not careful, and the one that’s the biggest drag to clean, so use it judiciously.’
They clarified that the largest holes are ideal for grating fresh fruit and for shredding semi-hard cheeses like cheddar or Gruyère.
Cheese, chocolate, veggies, and other items can all be grated using the smaller shredding holes. It works best when a recipe calls for an ingredient to be finely shredded.
Finally, the side with the wide openings is intended for slicing and is useful for swiftly cutting cheese or veggies into slices.
Additionally, they offered advice on how to thoroughly clean your cheese grater and suggested soaking it overnight or using an abrasive sponge to remove any stuck-on food.