Grated, or finely chopped cheese, is great on everything from pastas to salads. It melts and blends quickly into pastas while mixing easily with salads. Cheese graters make the job of grating cheese effortless. But you can grate cheese without a cheese grater using a knife and a chopping board. You can also grate more crumbly cheeses, like Parmesan cheese, by rubbing two pieces against each other using your fingers.
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Cut even 1/2-inch strips of cheese lengthwise using a sharp knife and a cutting board. Keep the strips together, but turn the cheese 90 degrees and lay it on its side. Cut these strips into halved 1/2-inch strips in a direction perpendicular to your previous cut.
Keep the strips together. Turn the cutting board another 90 degrees. Cut the cheese strips again in a direction perpendicular to the cut you just made. Rotate the cutting board another 90 degrees while holding the cheese strips together. Cut the cheese strips one more time in a perpendicular direction.
The cheese strips should now be in rectangular or square pieces. Remove two pieces at a time. Place them side by side. Continue chopping them uniformly in one direction, then the other direction, until they are finely minced.
Break or cut off two pieces of cheese from the block. Hold one piece of cheese between your thumb and index finger. Hold the other piece of cheese between the thumb and index finger of your other hand. The side from each piece of cheese that is farthest away from the palm of your hand should be exposed.
Grind or rub the two pieces of cheese together in a back and forth motion. Bits of cheese should rub off between the two pieces. Continue grinding or rubbing until the two pieces of cheese have completely worn away.
Crumbly cheeses like Parmesan cheese have a rocky appearance. If the cheese has a sandy or grainy texture and it snaps off without bending, then the cheese has a crumbly consistency.