Object of the Month

As part of the Mālama Hawaii program, Lahaina Restoration Foundation is working with volunteers (both local and visitor) to clean, record and share our collections. Our newest catalogued object from this program is an oroshigane, or food grater.

Unlike other food graters, oroshigane (a type of Japanese grater) produce a very fine grating using many small spikes, rather than perforations through the metal.

In the case of this grater, each side was dedicated to different foods. One side is more coarse with widely-spaced larger spikes used for root vegetables such as daikon, while the other is more fine with closely-spaced small spikes used for wasabi or ginger. Both sides have raised edges which mostly likely acted as guide for the item being grated.

This oroshigane was made in Japan and has the Japanese character for “friend” on its handle. Dating to the mid-20th century, it would have been used in a Japanese family’s home, possibly the home of a Pioneer Mill worker here in Lahaina.

These graters are still considered the best and are often used by professional chefs.

Lahaina Restoration Foundation’s collections represent the diversity of Maui (now and in the past) with objects from all over the world and from many different cultures and time periods.