The Good Old Mortar and Pestle Set: Is it even worth getting it?
When most people think of the mortar and pestle, they think of something that’s a bit old-fashioned and perhaps more stylish than useful. While this tool has been around for quite a while, it is definitely more useful than you know. Keep reading to learn more about some of the best things that you can do with a mortar and pestle and why it is still so good to have one.
Now, if there was an award for the most humble of all kitchen tools, the mortar and pestle would definitely win. This is one of the most ancient kitchen utensils available, as it has been used by humans for thousands of years. Even though we have so many different tools, including food processors and stand mixers, the good old mortar and pestle still stand in a very special way.
One of the best applications for a mortar and pestle set is to process herbal condiments such as pesto. Should you not be familiar with it, pesto is a sauce that originated from Italy, based on ground fresh basil leaves and other seasonings and ingredients. The key to making good pesto is in the way the leaves are ground. Sure, you can do it with a blender or a food processor, but the problem is that in doing so, the leaves get ripped rather than pounded and scraped, as it would happen with a mortar and pestle action. A herbal sauce like pesto can be a little dry in a blender unless you add water, oil, or cream. This is because the blender rips the leaves. The mortar and pestle don’t only rip the leaves, but it allows more of the natural juices to come through by scraping and pounding leaves against the coarse surface. This way, the juices from the leaves come through, not only allowing more flavors to develop but also making the sauces way more creamy and delicious without the need to water them down with other ingredients (or, well, actual water!). If you like to use a lot of herbal sauces, fresh condiments and embrace a lot of Mediterranean flavors in your diet, a mortar and pestle set can actually be a fantastic addition to your kitchen because it will really improve the flavor of these particular recipes. There is a bit of a learning curve in mastering it, but it’s not too difficult or challenging, even for beginners.