Gadgets: OXO Good Grips Box Grater
Ah yes, the basic tools necessary for great latkes. A grater, and... oh right, that's about all. Standard as the box grater is in most kitchens, OXO Good Grips' latest version ($17.11 at amazon.com) takes the basic form and adds a little something—a measuring cup/storage container—that makes it a worthwhile replacement.
The hallmark feature, the attachable container, gives measurements by the quarter cup and 50 ml. It might not be the most necessary feature for latke-making, but when it comes to shredding cheese or veggies (and the more precise recipes that call for them—carrot cake, anyone?) it's a welcome attachment. When not in use, it stows right inside the grater itself, and contains a plastic lid for food storage.
As for fulfilling its basic functions, it's the coarse setting that's used most often, and where it's most evident that OXO has employed the use of good materials to make strong, sturdy blades. However, I'm particularly a fan of the fine and superfine surfaces, simply for the fact that they vary significantly from one another, something they too rarely do.
One note of worth: Even if you're using the storage container to catch your shreds, grate over a plate! Even this bad boy isn't immune from the typical fly-aways.
Ergonomically speaking, the handle is sturdy and comfortable to hold onto, while non-slip rings (on both the grater itself and the measuring cup) keep it firmly in place, avoiding accidents. It's a sharp design with added functionality—something I'll be happy to have on hand well past Hanukkah.