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Old 05-25-2010, 06:30 PM   #1
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Modern mortar and pestle

I frequently find myself wanting to grind ingredients up together. I think I would like a mortar and pestle set for myself, but I do not know anything about them aside from that they grind what you put in them.

What material would be best for general purpose grinding? Should I have separate ones for different types of ingredients? How and when should I clean them? I gather that some folks treat them like a skillet that never gets truly cleaned and thus has its own flavors.

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Old 05-25-2010, 06:42 PM   #2
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If I were to get a M&P, I'd go for a stone one. Heavy enough to be stable during the grinding process and abrasive enough to speed things along.

That being said, I use an electric coffee grinder to grind spices.
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Old 05-25-2010, 07:13 PM   #3
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I also use a cheap electric coffee grinder, that I use only for spices, and it's never ground coffee. To clean it I fill it with rice, and grind away...throw out the ground rice containing all the oils and flavors of the spices, and it's set to go for the next time.
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Old 05-25-2010, 07:23 PM   #4
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A coffee grinder is a fantabulous tool for grinding dry spices, but an authentic M&P is great for the fresh herbs, and you can make fabulous salsas in one... I love my M&P and wouldn't trade it for the world...

P.S. it's great for the arms...
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Old 05-25-2010, 09:39 PM   #5
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I got one from chemichal lab supply. It is some sort of a stoneweare (sp?), it is white and heavy and very nice.
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Old 05-26-2010, 09:21 AM   #6
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A coffee grinder may work well. But really it's just chopping everything into smaller bits. It's not actually grinding the flavour from different fresh ingredients together. Like smushing garlic, there is something to be said about grinding the juices out of fresh herbs.
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Old 05-26-2010, 09:30 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hardly Core View Post
A coffee grinder may work well. But really it's just chopping everything into smaller bits. It's not actually grinding the flavour from different fresh ingredients together. Like smushing garlic, there is something to be said about grinding the juices out of fresh herbs.
Making small pieces out of big pieces is what happens either way, chopping or grinding. The flavors will bend when you cook them.
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Old 05-26-2010, 09:35 AM   #8
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I .got ny M&P at a local asian market. You want a fairly large one. Mine has a bowl around 6 inches interior. The marble ones are not much good IMO.
Grinding to a powder is somewhat tedious, but the flavor is worth it. Lemongrass and Kaffir lime really only work when pulverized.
I do wash mine, but do not use soap, just a thorough scrub and steel wool.
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Old 05-26-2010, 06:43 PM   #9
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Making small pieces out of big pieces is what happens either way, chopping or grinding. The flavors will bend when you cook them.
I'm afraid I have to strongly disagree. especially in cases where the food is not cooked, the grinding adds greatly to the overall end flavour.
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Old 05-26-2010, 06:49 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Hardly Core View Post
... the grinding adds greatly to the overall end flavour.
More than grinding in a coffee grinder?
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