Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Kitchen Collection [19]

This is an absolutely new acquisition. Last summer we had made one of our runs to Paris for Asian food ingredients ; we've been shopping at Tang Frères in the 13th arrondissement. Tang is a small chain of Asian groceries in and around Paris with a pretty big store and several restaurants near the Place d'Italie.

While there last summer we saw a granite mortar and pestle, but decided not to buy it. I have a small lightweight m-and-p and I've learned that lightweight just doesn't do the trick. I end up not using it much. You need something a bit more substantial.

I regretted the decision to leave the granite mortar behind, so we decided over the winter to get it the next time we were in Paris with the car, which turned out to be this past weekend. I haven't used it yet, but I'm sure the occasion will present itself before too long.

Garlic paste, crushed herbs, seeds and spices that need to be ground ; there are many uses ahead for this baby.


  1. When I see your kitchen utensils, I am just stunned, and often learn new words. Given the context, I think I understand the word pestle, but had to look up the French word for it! Pilon. That's it. I don't think I have heard this word in a culinary context for years. But you know the expression mettre au pilon, which means get rid of unsold books.
    Any such expression in English?

  2. I bet the mortar and pestle will be perfect for pesto! Miam, miam.

  3. The mortar and pestle only cost 11 euros, so it was very cheap by the pound (since it weighs a ton).

  4. Claude, I've never heard that expression, and Ken said it didn't ring a bell with him, either. Do you know the movie "The Court Jester?" There's a famous bit in it that goes like this:

    "The pellet with the poison's in the vessel with the pestle; the chalice from the palace has the brew that is true."

    That's the first place I ever heard the word pestle when I was a kid.

    Evelyn, what a great idea !

  5. I was thinking of Thai curry pastes with it. Pesto sounds great, as well!

  6. Hi,
    Do you have a brand name for that gorgeous mortar and pestle?


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