Food - Drink
Mortar And Pestle Vs. Molcajete: What's The Difference?
By WILLIAM DELONG
Modern kitchen gadgets can help you whirr, chop, and stir your way to a quick meal, but sometimes it’s best to ditch the gadgets and take your time. Humans have used tools like the mortar and pestle or the molcajete for centuries to grind down foods and combine flavors, and while the two are similar, they are different in one significant way.
On the surface, a mortar and pestle and molcajete may look identical — they both have a stone slab or bowl base and a rounded handheld implement used to grind food down. However, there is one notable aspect that differentiates the two, which is that a molcajete is made from a single piece of volcanic rock and requires specific upkeep.
Molcajetes were traditionally used by Aztecs and Mayans, and as such, they are often passed down through families and handled with care. If you choose to invest in a molcajete, you must first remove any loose pebbles, soak it in frigid water for 8 hours, and grind white rice until it comes up completely clean, and then it’s ready to use.