This copper Atlas pepper mill from Greece was a gift from bettyq when we visited Vancouver a few years ago. It is the most handsome of pepper mills in our home, particularly striking in this pose with the morning sunlight shining directly on it. It has kept up a coarse to fine grind (adjustable) for several years now, has a spacious well for whole peppercorns and it is a real conversation piece that guests almost always ask about.
We find that grinding pepper at the last second to augment a bowl of pasta, a hot soup, a crisp salad, a hunk of meat, or some grilled seafood is a really essential step. There’s nothing quite like the aroma of freshly ground black pepper, and we manage to keep enough of it in stock, tellicherry black peppercorns are amongst the best you can get.
But if the Atlas is the “showy” sibling, our several classic shaped beech wood pepper mills (in two different sizes) with Peugeot grinding mechanisms are the house staple at the moment. Yes, the mechanism is made by the car company I gather, and it works brilliantly and consistently. They also last a long time despite abuse in the kitchen over the years.
There’s something really satisfying about twisting the top of a wooden pepper mill and seeing the ground pepper pepper the food. These peugeot’s aren’t cheap, but they aren’t super pricey either. Totally worth the money and they last a while.
The Peugeot’s replaced what was the family favorite for many years, the iconic Perfex aluminum pepper grinder. Original Perfex pepper mills worked really nicely, and the easy load feature for the peppercorns was a plus. I used to love my Perfex pepper mills so much I bought the smallest one they made and brought it with me on business trips so I could use it when I ordered room service from hotels (I used to live in hotels for many years while consulting). I lost several pepper mills after leaving them on my trays and only the best of hotels ever found them and returned them to me on my subsequent visit(s). We started to have some malfunctioning problems with some of our Perfex’s which prompted Mrs. MM to try the Peugeot’s and we switched allegiances after that — the latter were more reliable and cheaper to boot.
Atlas Pepper Mill – Approximately $50-60 (discounted Amazon price, normally $80 or so)
Peugeot Pepper Mill – Approximately $45-60 depending on size (full retail)
Perfex Pepper Mill – Approximately $89 (full retail)