Ina Garten’s Microplaner

I lust for your zester. That microplane, that slim silver shaver for citrus fruits and nutmeg. Where is it from, Ina? Where is that elegant kitchen tool from?

I think about it often: while prepping a faux-French weeknight dinner dish, I think of it; while I touch a lemon for a cocktail, I think of it; while watching you use it on your television show—Barefoot Contessa—I think of it; while in a Williams Sonoma, I think of it; while in any kitchen, at any time, imagining it were mine, imagining that your large marble Hamptons home were mine and I were you and your life was my life, I think of it.

It’s the most sophisticated kitchen tool. It’s a grater that isn’t for cheese. It is effectively a garnish maker for finer things like lemon zest, something that a common cook would scoff as ridiculous and ineffective. It’s not used very often, nary even once a week. It is not an essential tool but you, Ina, you make it easy. You make me want that which could replace my unsightly, disgustingly utilitarian and common Microplane™ branded microplane, a brand that also makes microplanes for your feet. I scoff at myself whenever I use it. I think about how you, Ina, would disapprove.


Your microplane is just so smooth although it’s teeth chip away in their small way. It is a steel plane, a discrete, lithe, minimal thing. Where is it from, Ina? Can I have it? It must be expensive. Perhaps it is made of silver, not steel. Perhaps you had it custom made to match your custom kitchen and your custom life. To be able to zest, zest the way you zest, zest and soft drop the zester on my butcher block with that soothing metallic ting onto a bed of citrus shaving. To do that, Ina. To do that.

Tell me about your zester, Ina. Do you have anything to say? Tell about this elegant beauty, my kitchen creature.

“You probably think I’ve got a million specialized kitchen tools but the truth is I keep a very simple kitchen,” you shared with Cassandra’s Kitchen in 2013, an operation that may or may not be under your Barefoot umbrella. “Originally used for woodworking, some smart cookie started using it in the kitchen as the perfect tool for grating lemon, orange, and lime zests.” Is that so? “I use it to make my favorite Lemon Yogurt Cake with lots of lemon zest and freshly squeezed juice,” you said. We know this, Ina. We know this and we love you for it and we want to be you for it. So how can I get this sword in the stone?

“You can buy one at most cookware stores or online at CassandrasKitchen.com.”

Well, it is was as easy as that, a $15 treat. A steal. A something that is much better than my Microplane™. I am not alone with these feelings either. “I’ve been looking for a good quality zester everywhere for the longest time,” Helen said on the purchase page of the Zester / Rasp. “After watching Ina use this zester time after time on her show, I decided to give this one a try. I’m so glad I did!!” Carrie agrees too, with her review titled “Love it”: “I love that this tool is so small and can fit very easily into my tiny kitchen drawers (unlike those big bulky plastic rectangle stainless steel ones).” Agreed.

Based on these two reviews and my lust, the Zester / Rasp has five out of five star review.

So, Ina, tell me: will this tool make me more you? Is it the lamp to your genie? Will my food transform and my kitchen transform and I transform into you? I know I will not but I want you to hear this: I love you and I love your delicate, obnoxious, affordable, functional tools. Please hear me. Please beam me into your Hamptons home, kick Taylor Swift out, and take me in as your adult nephew. I am a good prep cook with hands ready to zest.

Featured image via.

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