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Mortars and Pestles JEWS 10/15/2020 (Thu) 11:21:52 No. 478
I need a granite one. Everything for sale looks like it sucks. Post yours.
Ideally I'd get two millstones, which grind finely, perfectly, and with zero labor--hence villages being built around them for thousands of years. Unfortunately for me, I don't have access to a watermill or windmill at my apartment, so I need to regress to cavemen's tools for my occasional crushing and grinding. Pestles are the hand tools and mortars are the receptacles; every civilization has their own. Paleolithic cavemen used holes in cave floors. Neolithic cavemen invented portable holes. Biblical Jews shared millstones in a village. Frenchmen use Peugeot handmills because fuck your village. Greeks use olivewood for aioli or whatever. Italians use marble for pesto because "it emulsifies better" (read: it's a delicate display piece). Japs use suribachi to grind moldy rice into miso. Weebs use suribachi to collect dust in their cabinets. Indians use electric blade grinders because they're grinding dried spices. Mexicans use molcajetes to grind avocados into guacamole. And so on. My ideal mortar would be as large as I can carry and would come with both straight and mushroom pestles. A straight pestle seems best for crushing and a mushroom pestle seems best for grinding. Amazon does not sell this ideal set. America's Test Kitchen used to recommend the Cilio Granite David mortar and pestle, but I haven't been able to find it for sale. Their criteria (which have since been paywalled as far as I can tell) boiled down to the mortar being huge and the pestle being heavy, and applying these criteria to what I see when browsing aisles makes every retail mortar and pestle look like junk. So I've been using my blade grinder and food processor for some mortar and pestle jobs like pesto and non-pepper spice grinding. I'd like to get something that fulfills my caveman desire to smash things.
(161.04 KB 1260x1260 suribachi.jpg)
Suribachi also look like they suck for anything that isn't koji.
(10.48 KB 297x300 BrassPestal.jpg)
(183.85 KB 1067x1600 s-l1600.jpg)
>>478 Look for a brass pharmacist pestle, used on fleabay.
>>478 I have a small-ish (13cm) marble one with slight grooves that I use to grind all my spices. It's good. Just add a pinch of salt or sugar to help it go quicker. I like the white coloring since it shows how well it's been cleaned so there's less risk of contaminating flavors. I mostly grind dried berries or more woody stuff with it, and the few times I've ground herbs it's a bitch. Been looking for a much larger one to grind meat in, and it's a struggle.
>>484 Wouldn't brass potentially react or tarnish if you were putting certain acids in it? >>499 >It's good. Just add a pinch of salt or sugar to help it go quicker. This is good advice. Obviously it has to be actual salt that's not already ground into oblivion or it won't really work i.e. don't just use table salt.
>>484 >>500 My thoughts exactly; I wouldn't make pesto with lemon juice in brass. >>499 My only real interest in marble mortars is because they're the easiest to inspect and buy in person. Marble doesn't seem abrasive enough to do the jobs I'd like to do, and marble's solubility concerns me as well. They're probably the prettiest though.
Don't buy mortars online, at least not extra large ones. They often get damaged in transit by incompetents and lugging a large mortar to the next post office to return it is a bitch.
I have a granite mortar and pestle I bought online and never had an issue. Unfortunately, my pestle broke in half because it fell on the ground. I need to epoxy it together.


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