Embracing the ApoE Wild Type Cuisinart: The Mortar and Pestle

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Embracing the ApoE Wild Type Cuisinart: The Mortar and Pestle

Postby circular » Mon Nov 22, 2021 6:20 am

At least as far back as 35,000 BC people were using a mortar and pestle to grind substances like plants into powders and pastes for food and possibly pigments. (Pigments may have come later?)

Fast forward to 2021 and this modern ApoE wild type has finally discovered the joy of this one of her ancestors' ways. Most days I make a chai tea using 1 tsp black tea leaves and 1 tsp green tea leaves along with freshly crushed and powdered spices and ginger. There's something really satisfying about doing this, and it's opened my eyes to what many good cooks (that would not be me) must already know … you can do a lot with a mortar and pestle that allegedly makes tastier food than the same dish processed with modern electrical crushers, blenders and the like (let alone pre-made and packaged).

Does anyone have a lot of experience using a mortar and pestle? Do pesto and salad dressing and guacamole and curry really taste better when made using one? All I've done so far is make chai, and I do think the mortar and pestle elevates the enjoyment I get drinking it. I need to decide whether to get a bigger one.

Beside tastes, I like the primal experience of using the mortar and pestle. Even when all I need to do is crush garlic, I will likely abandon my garlic crusher and use the mortar and pestle instead.

I'd love to hear how others use this ancestral kitchen tool. There are recipes online but some take more time than I can put into it for now. So I'm open to the simplest and quickest of uses that the taste of food as well.
ApoE 3/4 > Thanks in advance for any responses made to my posts.

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Re: Embracing the ApoE Wild Type Cuisinart: The Mortar and Pestle

Postby circular » Wed Nov 24, 2021 6:20 pm

Hmmm, no takers. Regardless, since I'm used to talking to myself, :lol: , I'm back to report on a few more simple adventures with my M&P.

I can happily ditch the peppercorn grinder. I've never bought one, cheap or expensive, that didn't break, but I'm pretty sure a quick grind of the peppercorns in my M&P won't break the M&P.

I don't think I need a garlic crusher anymore. The M&P works just fine for that too.

Then I made a Chinese five spice mix from whole spices (except the cinnamon was powdered) and used it with the garlic in my baby boy choy sauteed in EVOO. I missed an opportunity to mash some fresh ginger with the garlic. (I had this with sous vide chicken breast to which I'd added EVOO, white vinegar, kosher salt, pepper, tarragon and sliced lemon.)

Soon I'll be trying a simple salad dressing: mash basil leaves, add EVOO, add balsamic vinegar and anything else would taste good. Dump into salad.

Pesto and guacamole are also in the lineup, but I probably need a bigger M&P for those, so I'll be looking for sales.

The fresh Chinese five spice mix has me planning my first attempt at Vietnamese pho but without the noodles.
ApoE 3/4 > Thanks in advance for any responses made to my posts.

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Re: Embracing the ApoE Wild Type Cuisinart: The Mortar and Pestle

Postby Tincup » Wed Nov 24, 2021 7:59 pm

circular wrote:I'd love to hear how others use this ancestral kitchen tool.


I have one, but have only used it for meds in my DIY compounding pharmacy, not foods. May have to try it!

On the humor side, I was looking up using the food processor as was preparing a large quantity of (Gundry compliant) millet dressing for a family gathering tomorrow. Ran across this on a web page:

Screen Shot 2021-11-24 at 10.04.24 AM.png
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Re: Embracing the ApoE Wild Type Cuisinart: The Mortar and Pestle

Postby SusanJ » Thu Nov 25, 2021 10:06 am

circular wrote:Pesto and guacamole are also in the lineup


I have a friend from South America who has a large set just for making guacamole. As a taste tester I can say it was really, really good!

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Re: Embracing the ApoE Wild Type Cuisinart: The Mortar and Pestle

Postby circular » Thu Nov 25, 2021 7:24 pm

Tincup wrote:On the humor side, I was looking up using the food processor as was preparing a large quantity of (Gundry compliant) millet dressing for a family gathering tomorrow. Ran across this on a web page:

Screen Shot 2021-11-24 at 10.04.24 AM.png

:lol: That's ridiculously funny!
ApoE 3/4 > Thanks in advance for any responses made to my posts.

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Re: Embracing the ApoE Wild Type Cuisinart: The Mortar and Pestle

Postby circular » Thu Nov 25, 2021 8:30 pm

SusanJ wrote:I have a friend from South America who has a large set just for making guacamole. As a taste tester I can say it was really, really good!

I think there's something to the notion that crushing and smashing ingredients, often into a paste, brings out more flavor than cutting and blending in the way that it breaks the cell walls down and allows more flavor out. I watched some videos on making gaucamole in a molcajete, a Mexican M&P, and I can see where shmushing the garlic, onions, and cilantro all into a paste and then blending that with the avocados (before mixing in tomatoes if you use them and other things you don't want smashed) would boost the flavor. They make salsa this way too.

I'm quite sure the M&P, probably two or three of them, is going to join my Instant Pot and sous vide as my all time favorite food prep assistants.

My first is this one from Bed, Bath and Beyond, which they had in the store and I used a coupon for. The nice thing about the deep sides is that you can cover it with one hand and keep spices from flying out. The marble is etched inside so there is a rougher texture to work against than the smooth marble you see.
ApoE 3/4 > Thanks in advance for any responses made to my posts.

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Re: Embracing the ApoE Wild Type Cuisinart: The Mortar and Pestle

Postby SusanJ » Fri Nov 26, 2021 4:34 am

circular wrote:making gaucamole in a molcajete, a Mexican M&P


Yep, this is the type of M&P she used. I think you're right that crushing gives more flavor.


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