The Mouli grater is a classic, old-school French kitchen tool. Its basic concept is a rotary grater that you turn with one hand whilst pressing the food to be grated (usually cheese) with the other using a hinged handle. The original model by Moulinex is no longer in production, although there are many new knock-off versions to be found in cookware shops. Or you could just pick up a lovely vintage model like the one above, either online or at your local flea market.
People who own a Mouli claim they are the best version of the rotary grater. Many still have their original model from the 1940's which speaks to its sturdiness. With modern inventions like the food processor and microplane, the Mouli lost its popularity, although I feel it still has its place in a well-stocked kitchen.
Every since my first kitchen, I've had a version of the Mouli grater on hand. My first was an orange plastic model; currently I have a white plastic version I recently picked up in my apartment building's free box. It works wonderfully for grating cheese, although I've been told that it also works well for grating nuts and fruits, and making baby food purees. Now that I've seen these vintage models, though, I may just turn the plastic model in.
Do you have a Mouli, or a version of a Mouli, and how do you use it?
• Vintage French Mouli graters, at Etsy