I’ve always been fascinated by pilóns, the wooden mortar and pestles, so commonly used in Latin cuisine that I’m instantly taken to my mother’s kitchen as she crushed garlic and oregano in a teeny bit of olive oil and salt to make her dishes like pernil or mofongo amazing.
In fact, I’ve started collecting my own array of these traditional tools sometimes made of ceramic, stone, metal or wood and used to crush, grind, and mash ingredients, medicines, herbs and seasonings. There is something so powerful about the act of grinding nature’s bounty, almost like an alchemist, with your own two hands in a way that your ancestors have for thousands of years.
Italians used mortars and pestles since the 15th Century in apothecaries, the Molcajete or Mexican version dates back to over 6,000 years ago, Aztec and Maya cultures and is made literally of the earth, from volcanic rock. The Thais usage dates back to the 13th Century.
IMUSA, which specializes in Hispanic cookware and appliances, recently reached out to me about their line calderos (dutch oven pots), griddles & sauté pans, tostoneras, authentic molcajetes, empanada makers, tortilla warmers, salsa dishes and much more. They have some really great products that celebrate both the culture and cuisine of Latinos.
Honestly, some of these kitchen items are so cool and beautiful that they make perfect gifts. They have been kind enough to sponsor a giveaway for Literanista readers – more below on how to win one of three Lava Rock Molcajetes: Made from ultra-durable natural volcanic lava rock, this mortar and pestle set is large enough to grind up a party-size batch of guacamole, then mix and serve it in the same bowl. ($59.99 at Macy’s) Enter to win one below and help my blog gain more visitors:
Guacamole and avocado are some of my favorites, just take a look at my Literanista Eats Pinterest Board to see what I mean but having these in your home makes so many healthy, fresh foods even a Mojito easy to make quickly.
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