The history of the molcajete dates back thousands of years�used in pre-Hispanic times for grinding grains and spices�and this one is made with that same centuries-old tradition in mind. It�s hand-crafted from volcanic basalt, which has a rough, textured surface ideal for blending, grinding and breaking apart the skins of chilies, tomatoes, and other spices and ingredients. We really enjoy the size of these molcajetes, too. It�s light enough to maneuver easily while also large enough to hold a good amount of salsas and guacamole. These molcajetes are perfectly sized�light enough to maneuver easily while also large enough to hold a good amount of salsa or guacamole. We also like the gently curved shape, which makes grinding easier than it is with the steeper sides of many mortar and pestles. Plus, this one features a unique pig�s head design on the handle.
? [/description-break] Specifications [/title]?Materials:
Volcanic stone[/accordion] Care and Use [/title]This is a natural product made from stone. Before first use, the molcajete needs to be seasoned (see our instructions). It should be washed thoroughly in water using a coarse brush before use and between uses. Avoid detergents. Avoid abrupt temperature changes.[/accordions-break]This tool is an iconic and essential part of the Mexican kitchen.[/banner_heading]The word �molcajete� is derived from the Nahuatl words �mollicaxtli� and �temolcaxitl,� meaning �bowl for sauce� or �stone bowl for the mole.� It�s often carved from rough volcanic rock and shaped with a wide bowl and a three-footed base. It�s accompanied by a tejolote (the pestle), also carved from rock. Together, they are used to grind or shear spices, dried chilies, seeds, fresh or roasted chilies, tomatoes, tomatillos and onions. The coarse, porous basalt is ideal for mashing ingredients together for guacamole, as well as fresh roasted salsas and relishes. And despite the similarities between the tools, one does not use the molcajete to pound ingredients as you would a mortar and pestle. Instead, you fit the tejolote into your palm and direct its movement with your fingertips as you grind or shear ingredients. [/banner-text-break]This molcajete is great not only for making guacamole and salsa, but also for grinding spices, grains and stale bread. Use it to break apart both fresh, dried and toasted chilies, too.How to season your molcajete:
First, rinse the molcajete with water, then clean it with a wire brush. Use the pestle to grind up several cloves of garlic into a paste. Spread it all around the inside of the molcajete. You can also use onion, or a combination of onion and garlic, as well as cumin seeds, rock salt and cilantro. Rice is another traditionally used ingredient for grinding during this initial seasoning stage. Let the molcajete rest for 24 hours. Then rinse away the paste from the molcajete. [/how-to-use-break]One should never use detergent on a molcajete, as the porous rock will absorb the smell and taste of the detergent, affecting the flavor of food made in it. This is a tool that improves with time and use, accumulating the oils and aromas of the food made in it. And the rock itself imparts a pleasing mineral taste to the food. A stiff brush (with no detergent) is a useful tool for cleaning out the craggy holes.