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Mortar & Pestle


     Refined versions of the original mortar and pestle are used in kitchens all over the world to prepare pastes and sauces. They are also used for grinding herbs and spices. This is an ancient device which was originally used for grinding grain. The grain was placed in a shallow depression in a stone, the mortar, and then pounded with a stone, the pestle.  



Marble Mortar and Pestle




    The tip of the pestle is unpolished making it perfect for effectively crushing or grinding spices and herbs. Guacamole and Pesto are often made in large mortars. I keep this item sitting out on the counter to use for grinding oregano, basil or rosemary. I also use it for grinding peppercorns. You can make herbal salts by adding your favorite herbs to sea salt. 



Authentic Mexican Volcanic Rock "Molcajete" 
Mortar and Pestle

Mexican Molcajete




Recipe for Pesto using a Mortar & Pestle


Article on Making Pesto by Hand







Mexican Molcajete


Designer Mortar and Pestle



Bronze from France


Brass from Egypt


The Molcajete (mohl-kah-HEH-teh) is made from volcanic rock as 
pictures above on the upper left. It is used to grind herbs and spices 
or to crush tomatoes, tomatillos or other vegetables for salsas. To purchase
one you can get one by mail order by calling 212-570-0300. 

To season the Molcajete, grind a handful of rice and then rinse it out. 

Grind rice again and then rinse again. When dry you
can coat with olive oil to help seal the surface. 

Then, wash after each use. 


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