Finally, a Mexican natural stone molcajete (mortar and pestle)! I have been eyeing these for years on trips abroad, but always felt they were too heavy to bring back in luggage, and for some reason, I could never find one I wanted when we were filling up balikbayan boxes with stuff to ship home. I spotted a snazzy Jamie Oliver one at True Value a couple of weeks ago, but it was a whopping PHP2,400+ and though that was less than half the price of a fabulous white but rough marble version from an Italian kitchen supplies store in Manila (PHP5,000+), I was thrilled instead to find this Mexican version at S&R today for PHP899 or so. It’ll probably go on sale in a couple of weeks for their March extravaganza, but they only had a few dozen on display and I have no intention of fighting it out on sale day to save a couple of hundred pesos, so I bought two molcajetes today.
Besides its handsome looks, the biggest advantage of this mortar and pestle is the rough finish and grinding capability of the natural stone. We have several romblon marble mortars and pestles but they are rather smooth, and often small, so you can’t really smash or pulverize everything you would like to. I fret that I may get a bit of lava or stone in my dental work, but the instructions make it clear you need to “season” it by grinding up rice, rock salt, etc. for a few days before you use it for real food. And never wash it with soap or detergent.
Mortar refers to the bowl like vessel, and the pestle is the thing you pound ingredients with, just in case you get confused like I do. Now I await the height of avocado season for some homemade guacamole!