Probably one of the oldest kitchen tools to date, we've got 5 reasons why a pestle and mortar is set to become your BFF in the kitchen
by Miranda Keyes
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A pestle and mortar is probably the oldest kitchen tool to date and one that can help you get maximum flavor out of spices, herbs and other ingredients.
The earliest pestle and mortar’s date back to around 35,000 B.C. and are also associated with pharmacies as they were traditionally used to prepare medicines.
→ Love learning about herbs and spices? Check out our Herbs 101 article here!
So, what is it?
A pestle and mortar is composed of a pestle – a large heavy-club-like tool, usually made out of stone, wood or ceramic. The pestle is used for crushing or grinding ingredients in the mortar, or bowl. Though a pestle and mortar is an old tool, it still has a wide variety of uses in the kitchen and can probably do the work of multiple kitchen gadgets.
Reasons you need one:
- One of the best uses of a pestle and mortar is grinding spices. Whole seeds can be bashed down into a fine powder or can even be left as a coarse grind. Ground spices can be used to make a rub for meats or seafood.
- All you need is a little elbow grease to use a pestle and mortar. The heavy club does most of the work for you. You can either bash or pound the ingredients using the club or roll the pestle around the mortar to create a finer grind or consistency.
- If you find your pestle and mortar still smells like a spice from the last use or garlic perhaps try pouring some dry rice into the mortar. Grind it finely and the rice will absorp any left over smells.
- Pestle and mortars are still widely used to make different pastes and sauces, like for example pesto and thai curry pastes. You can use your pestle and mortar to make a variety of things like guacamole, salad dressings, salsas, sauces, mayonnaise, and ground nuts.
- Pestle and mortars can be relatively inexpensive and will quickly become a staple tool in your kitchen.
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