Whenever my wife grates Parmigiano Reggiano, she uses the same kind of cheese grater that my Mother used--a round, metal bowl with a dome-shaped grater on top. It only has fine holes--the type that grates the cheese fine enough to fit through the holes on the cap of of our glass cheese shaker jar. Watching Lisa shimmy and and shake as she grates away while I make out Saturday night pizza carries me back in time to our little apartment--Mom grating cheese while one of my sisters fills the "big pot" with water for Sunday's pasta and "Sunday Gravy" (Sugo). The nutty scent of grated cheese foretold of what was to come in the afternoon: meatballs, braciole, pork ribs and sausages.
There's something a bit old-world and romantic about grating cheese. Perhaps because it's something that's rarely done in American homes, with plastic tasting jars of phony grated cheese on their tables.
As for us, the only jar on our table is filled with cheese we've grated ourselves.... or Lisa, that is...
I like this Enrico 1005 Acacia Wood Cheese Grater and Shredder for $53 on AMAZON. Small enough to store easily, attractive enough to leave out on the kitchen counter and with the two most useful cutters included. --JF