Research reveals most British cooks don’t grate cheese, they shred it!

A recent youGov poll revealed that on a classic four-sided box grater, the vast majority, 84 per cent of Britons use the side with the medium raindrop-shaped holes – in precise culinary terms this isn’t actually considered grating, but shredding.

cheese grater sides
How many use the other sides of the grater? Only one in three British people surveyed use the side with the smaller raindrop-shaped holes, which is also technically for shredding.

Even fewer, 14 per cent, use the side with the small prickly holes, which is the only side that is technically for 

The least used side of the grater, the survey by YouGov found, was the side with wide holes for shaving cheese, which a mere 12 per cent of respondents said they employed.

Seven per cent of those surveyed said they had never used a classic four-sided box cheese grater, like the one illustrated.


As well as grating matters, the polling company also investigated how people dealt with the culinary conundrum of grating when the lump 
 becomes too small.

The most common solution for the cheese becoming too small to grate, which 43 per cent of people admitted to, was to just eat it.

A further one in nine, or 11 per cent, said they put the too-small-to-grate chunk back in the packet, while 9 per cent added it in with the grated cheese. 29 per cent said that no amount of cheese is too small not to grate and they risked their fingertips by grating until all the cheese had gone.


cheese grater waste


Further grate developments in late 2018 included the BBC releasing a “life hack” proclaiming that we’ve all been grating cheese wrong. Rather than standing the grater up, it should be lain on its side, allowing for the cheese to simply be tipped into a bowl once grated. However at no point is it explained how this manoeuvre is to be pulled off without also grating one’s kitchen worktop. Click here to see the BBC3 feature

Only 5% of Britons are grating their cheese in the manner the BBC outlines. Three quarters (73%) take the more traditional approach of standing the grater up, while 29% prefer to tilt it at an angle.



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