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Mortar and Pestles


mhberk
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Thanks for the replies!

I have a marble mortar and pestle now and I like how the rough interior is able to hold onto the spices (fennel seeds, black pepper, star anise, etc) and really grind and tear them (not just crush them). I would like to get another one, but they don't seem to make marble ones as big as they make granite ones. Does anyone here, that uses a granite one, have favorable experiences or similar experiences to the one I described with marble? For some reason, I just picture the granite ones being too porous.

Any feedback would be great!

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I have a small marble one I rarely use these days and a thai one that is my daily took for crushing and grinding spices. It isn't porous at all and I got it at my local thai store in Vienna for a very reasonable price. I've had a variety of mortar and pestles over the years and this was the best investment of them all.

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Thanks for the replies!

I have a marble mortar and pestle now and I like how the rough interior is able to hold onto the spices (fennel seeds, black pepper, star anise, etc) and really grind and tear them (not just crush them). I would like to get another one, but they don't seem to make marble ones as big as they make granite ones. Does anyone here, that uses a granite one, have favorable experiences or similar experiences to the one I described with marble? For some reason, I just picture the granite ones being too porous.

Any feedback would be great!

The Thai green granite version that I and others have referenced above do have a rough interior that is perfect for grinding things into a fine paste or powder. That also makes them perfect for things like garlic puree or pesto. The stone is somewhat porous, but this has never been a problem for me. I wash mine with soap and water and let it air dry. Once you use these things the average marble or porcelain version seems like a toy. There are heavy French versions like the Thai one, though, but made of marble instead of granite. Last I checked, Sur la Table had those as well.

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Concur with Banco on the superiority of the rough-hewn larger mortar vs. a marble or smoothed surfaced one. My wife bought hers which resembles the Mexican type with her from Malaysia. She uses it mainly for the basic ginger/garlic/shallot foundation for curries, but I use it for grinding spices and making pesto.

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Thanks for the feedback!

I broke down and drove down to Sur la Table on Wisconsin Ave and bought this granite one today. The woman who sold it to me (though she didn't really sound too familiar with mortar and pestles) said that she wouldn't suggest using soap on it. I know that Banco uses soap to clean it. Does anyone else?

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Thanks for the feedback!

I broke down and drove down to Sur la Table on Wisconsin Ave and bought this granite one today. The woman who sold it to me (though she didn't really sound too familiar with mortar and pestles) said that she wouldn't suggest using soap on it. I know that Banco uses soap to clean it. Does anyone else?

No soap unless the stone has been sealed! If just rinsing and wiping out doesnt work, boil some water and pour it in while it is still steaming hot.
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How big of a mortar and pestle do you need? I am a professional potter; I can make one in any size you need. I usually make them out of stoneware, with an unglazed interior; it provides a coarse but non-porous surface. I also proved pestles in both wood and stoneware. I usually make them with a 2 or 3 cup capacity, but I can make one pretty much as big as you could want.

Rob

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Thanks for the feedback!

I broke down and drove down to Sur la Table on Wisconsin Ave and bought this granite one today. The woman who sold it to me (though she didn't really sound too familiar with mortar and pestles) said that she wouldn't suggest using soap on it. I know that Banco uses soap to clean it. Does anyone else?

Ouch, that price is double what the thai stores sell them for :blink: . I got mine at the Thai store on Maple Ave in Vienna. I usually just rinse mine and air dry, but have had to use soap on a few occaisons without any detrimental effect whatsoever.

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Thanks for the feedback!

I broke down and drove down to Sur la Table on Wisconsin Ave and bought this granite one today. The woman who sold it to me (though she didn't really sound too familiar with mortar and pestles) said that she wouldn't suggest using soap on it. I know that Banco uses soap to clean it. Does anyone else?

You can clean it the same way you clean a spice grinder--just grind some uncooked white rice in it and wipe it out.

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