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A Dream Mortar & Pestle

Posted on | June 16, 2009 |


A wonderful blog post about Mortar & Pestle here.

Using a knife is all good but there’s something about pounding ingredients, scraping them against the rough surface, giving ‘em a well-meaning thwack! that releases flavors deep within. I don’t even have to mention what an excellent stress reliever it is.

The precursor to today’s food processor – if you will – mortars and pestles have been around for centuries. Most Asian and Mexican mortars and pestles have characteristic shapes and sizes and different names too. In the Philippines, we call it “pandikdik” or “dikdikan.” Made from hardy materials like wood, clay, marble, granite, and stone, the bat-shaped pestle is pounded downward then moved around in a circular motion. The friction of ingredient on bowl surface pulverizes [the] ingredient and frees numerous flavor essences. It can be laborious, yes – labor of love? absolutely! – but for serious cooks, it’s simply part of the craft inherent to cooking.

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