Good for: Achieving a perfect dusting of Parmesan over rigatoni, or bittersweet chocolate shavings over cappuccino. Pass the grater around the table so you don’t have to worry about people touching the block of cheese (or making a mess) as they serve themselves. Rotary graters are also faster and more knuckle-friendly than other kinds, since the cylindrical grater plate never gets close to fingers.
Look for: A lightweight body; a small drum (with larger ones, cheese can spin out too far and splatter).
Tip: A rotary is not just for pasta night; reach for it on baking day, too. “Rotary graters are fabulous for grinding nuts,” says Carucci. “They come out superfine and delicate, much better than what you get from a food processor.”
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