Sunday, July 7, 2013

267. A Grate Collectible: ANTIQUE KUDKURAN

Now here's a fanciful kitchen collectible that I chanced upon at the famed Chatuchak Market in Bangkok. It's an old coconut grater carved in the shape of a man on all fours. The metal grater itself protrudes from the man's mouth. Coconut graters are found all over Asia, as the coconut was a staple food in this region. To remove the flesh off the shells, a half-coconut was scraped against a sharp-edged metal spur, while seated on the kudkuran's body.
Most Philippine kudkurans had a basic shape--just a paddle shaped seat to sit on with a metal grater screwed or nailed in the narrow portion of the seat. Others took on more figurative shapes--graters fashioned from tree stumps often took the form of 4-legged animals, like a horse. This example. made of heavy wood, is a more creative example--the crouching man even grasps a ball on one hand--playing while he works!
With the advent of motorized graters, the folksy kudkuran had all but disappeared in Philippine kitchens. I know a friend who collects them and displays them as sculptural pieces--and that s exactly how I will display my antique kudkuran.

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