John Julian Mortar And Pestle

Crush spices in style with this elegant mortar and pestle

It's hard to imagine a stylish way to smash peppercorns, herbs and papaya salads into smithereens. That is, until you take a gander at this minimalist porcelain mortar and pestle from British sculptor and cookware designer John Julian.

Julian's Spear mortar and pestle ($134) fits snugly in your hand, like a tiny football, and features a shallower dish for smoother grinding. (The designer recommends rocking back and forth for even results.) Julian cites the legendary Nigel Slater among his mortar-and-pestle followers; Slater, who relies on it regularly, calls the sculptural kitchen tool "the most perfect."

And it's stylish and compact enough to warrant taking up precious residence on your kitchen countertop.

You're about to have a lot of fun with your spice rack.