A mouli grater is a hand-held food processing device. This manual or hand operated cooking tool includes a chamber that purées various kinds of foods. These devices are popular for altering the consistency of small quantities of food, such as baby foods. The mouli grater is also sometimes called a food mill. It is a small, portable, and simple machine that can effectively crush different foods for a more pliable result.
The mouli grater serves some of the same purposes as a blender or food processor. It could be compared to a small, manual food processor, or a linear standard food grater. Where a flat food grater, such as a cheese grater, might be used to grate a large amount of food, the mouli grater generally is most useful for grating the volume of food that fits into its small chamber. A mouli type grate might be used to crush a small amount of some garnish or flavoring ingredient, such as garlic, although specialized garlic presses exist for that purpose as well.
The mouli type of grater consists of two hinged parts. A crank turns the grater and mashes food inside the central space. The inner part of the device is often called a food hopper. The other part of the mouli grater mashes the food into the hopper.
Mouli was a French company that pioneered this culinary device. It since changed its name to Moulinex. With the emergence of so many kinds of electronic graters and food processing tools, the popularity of the mouli grater has declined somewhat, but cooks or families that want low cost hand operated tools may still choose to use mouli graters for various home uses.
Some cooks who have never used a mouli grater before may have only a vague notion of what one of these items looks like. A look at vintage mouli graters available on different e-commerce sites can give a Web user a better idea of how these devices look and function. For those who may have never heard of a mouli grater before, the device can look familiar when they see it pictured in a catalog or other publication. One of these handy manual cooking tools can be great for times when a small amount of food needs to be processed without wires or cords.