You may have noticed many recipes call for lemon, lime or orange zest – a hint of citrus that mellows wonderfully when cooked. If, however, you've turned to a 'zester' to produce it, you may have ended up with thick strips of peel which add nothing to the dish. This is often because commercial zesters go so deep into the fruit they peel swathes of the bitter pith away with the zest itself. And that's where this gizmo comes in.
A world away from the zesting side of a stand-up grater, the Microplane is worth its weight in gold. It comes in a variety of sizes, from a large version suitable for grating cheddar, carrots or a potato for rosti, to a fine one for zesting fruit or grating chocolate and parmesan.
Now updated, the latest version has chemically-sharpened blades peel the finest, near-transparent zest from a lemon to produce a citrus note perfect for adding freshness to a rice salad or panna cotta and making old-fashioned lemonade.
Sleeker and more robust than previous version, it's clearly created by people who know their product. Other refinements include a chrome frame for added strength, and smooth ends to allow you to scrape your grated ingredient out with ease.
It's good to know there are companies who listen to their customers, and modify a product based on that feedback.
The Microplane costs around £19.99 and is available from all major retailers.