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#1 Posted : Thursday, November 23, 2023 8:31:31 AM(UTC)
We already have 3 M&P's in 3 sizes all made from granite. Noticed that a shop is combining a Black Friday Sale with a Closing Down Sale and so is offering a really good price on some ceramic M&P's
Is there any benefit to adding a ceramic M&P to our granite one's
#2 Posted : Thursday, November 23, 2023 5:09:06 PM(UTC)
It’s more a matter of interior finish on the mortar than actual material. I have two granite mortar and pestles. One has a rough interior, the other has a smooth interior. The rough interior one is great for most uses, like making pesto. The smooth interior one is good for things that don’t need as much grinding action, like chimichurri and guacamole, and for those kinds of things it’s much easier cleanup.
#3 Posted : Saturday, November 25, 2023 4:41:32 PM(UTC)
What might be most useful is a different size mortar than the ones you use now. If your holdings already cover a range of scale, then I'm out of good excuses, er, _reasons_ for encouraging you to shop the sa!e.
#4 Posted : Sunday, November 26, 2023 5:45:34 PM(UTC)
I don't know that this will help your decision, but I recently came across this article

After reading this, I am on the lookout for a suribachi. I had never seen the point of a ceramic mortar, but this is something with a difference and the arguments for it are compelling. Also, new kitchen toy.

#5 Posted : Monday, November 27, 2023 1:36:25 PM(UTC)

Thank you for the link, Zephyrness! The days when I thought I didn't need a mortar and pestle seem to be ending.

Of the Japanese stores that have a Web presence, there are two in my neighborhood and one in an adjacent neighborhood. I'll get to them after the next few dozen other tasks :)

#6 Posted : Tuesday, November 28, 2023 11:24:14 AM(UTC)

Coming a bit late to the party too - I agree, it is the texture that makes a difference, also to some extent the shape both of the bowl and of the base - a good, wide, base that doesn't roam around the table as you grind is helpful

As a former lab scientist, brought up by 2 pharmacists, I've always used "composition" (dense unglazed ceramic) mortars with a pestle of the same material on a wooden handle; I also have a small glass lab set, which I use when I want a small amount of a crushed spice, and it looks so nice on the shelf!

The great advantages of composition are that the pestle is lighter and easier to grip than stone, which is a boon as my wrists get weaker with age, and it's virtuall indestructible - I have dropped mine, slung them in the dishwasher, all are at least 50 years old, they don't mind anything.

Really tiny scientific M&P sets are made of agate and often repurposed as decorative items, they are used for grinding samples before puting them into analytical equipment such as spectrometers. 

#7 Posted : Thursday, November 30, 2023 11:33:43 AM(UTC)

I only use three sizes of suribachi and wooden pestle. But, you only need one medium sized one. Light and easy to clean.  Perfect for sesame seeds because the grooves keep seeds from flying out.  

Also have a large Mexican molcajete made from volcanic rock but only use that for serving and used it few times.  Too heavy and hard to clean for me.  

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