I find both terms are used interchangeably but they mean different things. Can you recommend a good grater? I have used the food processor with its 'shredder' attachment but I need my Parmiggiano to be grated not shredded... Help!
Get a Microplane classic, you'll never look back: Microplane 40020 Classic Zester/Grater by Microplane http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00004S7V8/ref=cm_sw_r_udp_awd_qcMCtb1BDCMX7
Thanks but that's a shredder not a grater. A grater makes a fine dust, a shredder is much wider. Yes I know I am being picky but this is how mamma taught me... :-)
I'm not sure everyone would agree with your terminology, but I think I get what you mean. Not having an Italian mama, I'm mostly in the Microplane camp, making me, I guess a shredder. I do have a Koziol grater shaped like a hedgehog that does a nice job on Parmiggiano. It might be too whimsical for you, in which case I'd suggest checking out somewhere that specializes in Italian foods or kitchenware. (Sadly, a visit to amazon.it (Casa e cucina › Utensili da cucina › Grattugie) gave me a lot of shredders.
I have the Microplane classic It grates Parmigiana -- fine dust. Microplanes with larger holes shred. But if you want to stick with Mamma's way, maybe get a hand-held rotary grater like a Mouli.
The Mouli grater will give you the texture you're seeking. I hope they're still being made.
I have an old box grater--the kind with a handle on the top and different grating and shredding options on each of the sides. My grandmother, coming from family north of the Alps, called it a Riebeisen. I also have two Microplanes, which I use more often simply because they are easier to keep close at hand. The Parmegiano comes out a bit fluffy, but I will accept the fluff because the box grater is difficult to access and harder to clean. I suspect that you could get some sort of file from a hardware store that would serve the same purpose--and be a bit cheaper than the Microplane.
I too use box grater, the side with the smallest holes does a pretty good job at making dusty Parmiggiano.
Get a box grater and use the smallest side to get the best grates Parmesan cheese
The easiest way to clean a box grater is with a soapy nail brush or old toothbrush