A grater (also known as a shredder in parts of the eastern United States[citation needed]) is a kitchen utensil used to grate foods into fine pieces. It was invented by François Boullier in the 1540s.



Several types of graters feature different sizes of grating slots, and can therefore aid in the preparation of a variety of foods. They are commonly used to grate cheese and lemon or orange peel (to create zest), and can also be used to grate other soft foods. They are commonly used in the preparation of toasted cheese, Welsh rarebit, and macaroni and cheese.

In Slavic cuisine, graters are commonly used to grate potatoes, for preparation of, e.g., draniki, bramborak or potato babka.

In tropical nations, graters are also used to grate coconut meat. In Jamaica, a coconut grater is used as a traditional musical instrument[1] (along with drums, fife, and other instruments) in the performance of kumina, jonkanoo, and sometimes mento.


The cheese grater was invented by Issac Hunt in the 1540s so hard cheeses could still be used.[citation needed]


There are also complex food-processing machines with grater-like mechanisms. These mechanisms rotate by the turn of a cluster or electric motor.


In popular culture

  • In recent times, the term 'cheese grating' has evolved, as slang, to mean 'screen cheating' in video games. Therefore a 'cheese grater' can also reference a person who actively 'screen cheats'. For example: Mark grates tonnes of cheese in Halo: Reach.
  • Comedian Mitch Hedberg performed a joke in which he stated that the negative name of cheese grater would be "a sponge ruiner."[2]

See also


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Gräter — ist der Familienname folgender Personen: Balthasar Gräter (1841–1902), deutscher Botaniker Carlheinz Gräter (* 1937), deutscher Journalist, freier Schriftsteller und Autor Friedrich David Gräter (1768–1830), Begründer der wissenschaftlichen… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Grater — Grat er, a. [From Qrate, v.] One who, or that which, grates; especially, an instrument or utensil with a rough, indented surface, for rubbing off small particles of any substance; as a grater for nutmegs. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • grater — (n.) instrument for scraping (bread, ginger, etc.), late 14c., from O.Fr. grateor, agent noun from grater (see GRATE (Cf. grate) (v.)) …   Etymology dictionary

  • grater — Grater, Scabere, Scalpere. Grater de poule en terre, Scalpurire vngulis, Plaut. Aulular, l Espagnol le dit proprement Escarvar. Le corbeau grate la terre, Radit coruus terram …   Thresor de la langue françoyse

  • Gräter — Gräter, Friedrich David, geb. 1768 in Schwäbisch Hall; war erst dort Conrector, von 1818–27 Rector am Gymnasium in Ulm u. st. 1830 in Schorndorf. Er gab heraus die Zeitschriften: Bragur, Lpz. 1791–94, 3 Bde.; Braga u. Hermode, ebd. 1796–1802, 5… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Gräter — Gräter, Friedrich David, Gelehrter, geb. 22. April 1768 in Schwäbisch Hall, gest. 2. Aug. 1830 in Schorndorf, wurde nach vollendeten Studien 1789 Lehrer und 1793 Konrektor am Gymnasium daselbst, 1818 Rektor des Gymnasiums in Ulm und trat 1827 in… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Gräter — Gräter, Friedrich David, geb. 1768 zu Schwäbisch Hall, längere Zeit Rector des Gymnasiums in Ulm, gest. 1830, machte sich durch mehre Zeitschriften um die Kunde des nord. Alterthums verdient (Bragur; Braga und Hermode; Odina u. Teutona; Iduna u.… …   Herders Conversations-Lexikon

  • grater — ► NOUN ▪ a device having a surface covered with sharp edged holes, used for grating food …   English terms dictionary

  • grater — [grāt′ər] n. a utensil with a rough surface on which to grate spices, vegetables, cheese, etc …   English World dictionary

  • grater — UK [ˈɡreɪtə(r)] / US [ˈɡreɪtər] noun [countable] Word forms grater : singular grater plural graters a tool with a rough sharp surface used for cutting cheese, vegetables, chocolate etc into very small pieces a cheese grater …   English dictionary

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