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April 13, 2023 6 min read

 

If you're tired of being let down by modern kitchen gadgets that promise to streamline your cooking process but fail to deliver on quality, it's time to turn to a tried and true classic: the pestle and mortar. This ancient tool may seem outdated in today's world of high-tech food processors, but it continues to be a beloved staple in kitchens around the world for good reason.

In this blog, we'll delve into 7 reasons why a pestle and mortar surpasses its high-tech counterparts, and how incorporating this simple yet effective tool into your cooking routine can elevate your culinary creations to new heights. Let's get started.

 

Understanding the Difference Between a Pestle and Mortar and a Food Processor

 

 fresh garlic, herbs, mortar and pestle

Credit: Envato Elements/ biljanan6

 

To begin this blog, let's first understand the difference between a pestle and mortar and a food processor.

A pestle and mortar, also called a mortar and pestle, is a traditional hand-held tool consisting of two components - a bowl-shaped mortar typically made of stone, marble, or wood, and a club-shaped pestle of the same material. Its origins date back to ancient Egypt and it was initially used for grinding grains and spices. However, it has since been adapted by different cultures with variations in materials and shapes.

In contrast, a food processor, also called a blender, is a modern electric kitchen appliance. It is made up of a motorized base unit with a detachable bowl, a lid, and several attachments or blades of various sizes and shapes to perform different functions. Although the first food processor was developed in the 1960s, it only gained popularity in the 1970s. It has since become a household staple with several models and features available in the market.

 

Why Should You Choose a Pestle and Mortar Over a Food Processor

 

Now that you know the difference between the two, here are some reasons why a pestle and mortar may be a better choice over a food processor:

 

1) Has a Wide Range of Uses

 

 mortar and pestle with lots of herbs

Credit: Envato Elements/ Nikolaydonetsk

 

The versatility and range of use of a pestle and mortar are unmatched when compared to food processors. While a food processor is designed for specific functions such as grinding, blending, and chopping, a pestle and mortar can perform all of these tasks and more. It's the go-to tool for crushing and grinding a variety of ingredients like spices, herbs, and nuts to make flavorful marinades, spice blends, pestos, and sauces that add depth and complexity to dishes.

Apart from its many applications in the kitchen, a pestle and mortar can also be used for tasks beyond cooking. It is a useful tool for crushing ice, which is helpful for making cocktails and refreshing drinks. Additionally, it can also be used for grinding coffee beans to create a more authentic and robust coffee flavor compared to electric grinders. Furthermore, it can be used for making homemade beauty products such as facial scrubs and masks, which can be an excellent alternative to store-bought products.

 

2) Enables Control over Texture and Consistency 

 

 hands crushing spice in mortar and pestle

Credit: Envato Elements/ LightFieldStudios

 

Although a food processor can quickly chop and blend ingredients together, it may not always deliver consistent results. Depending on the blade used and the processing time, some ingredients may be over-processed, resulting in a mushy or paste-like consistency, while others remain chunky or under-processed. 

On the other hand, a pestle and mortar provide an unmatched level of control that a food processor cannot match. By using traditional techniques and the sheer force of your own hand, you can gradually grind and blend ingredients together to achieve the perfect texture for your recipe. With this method, you can adjust the pressure and technique used to suit the specific ingredients and dish you are preparing, ensuring that every component is processed precisely as it should be. 

 

3) Preserves the Flavor and Nutrients of Ingredients

 

 gray mortar and pestle with spice inside

Credit: Envato Elements/ ellinnur

 

When ingredients are processed in a food processor, the high speed of the blades generates heat, which can cause oxidation and degradation of the nutrients in the food. This can lead to a loss of flavor, aroma, and texture, as well as a reduction in the nutritional value of the food. 

In contrast, using a pestle and mortar provides a slower, more deliberate approach to grinding spices. The process allows the flavors of the ingredients to fully develop, which creates a final product that is rich and complex. Furthermore, since the process does not generate heat, the nutrients in the ingredients remain intact, making the final product more nutritious and healthy. 

 

4) Provides an Aesthetic and Sensory Appeal 

 

 mortar and pestle crushing flowers

Credit: Envato Elements/ Yulia_Panova

 

Pestle and mortars can enhance the flavor and aroma of ingredients, especially when it comes to spices and herbs. By grinding these spices using a pestle and mortar, you can unlock their essential oils and natural flavors, creating an enticing aroma that can make your cooking truly captivating.

Moreover, the texture and appearance of ingredients ground in a pestle and mortar can heighten the visual appeal of a dish. Whether it's a sprinkle of freshly ground pepper or a dollop of homemade pesto, these freshly ground ingredients can add a pop of color to your dish, making it more appetizing and appealing to the eye. 

 

5) Easy to Clean

 

 cleaning out mortar and pestle

Credit: wikiHow

 

If you've ever used a food processor, you know how frustrating it can be to clean up. With multiple parts, such as blades, disks, and attachments, it can be a time-consuming and tedious task to take everything apart and wash it separately. This process can be particularly annoying when you're in a rush or have many other dishes to wash.

On the other hand, a pestle and mortar is a simple tool that typically has just two components. Because there are no complicated or hard-to-reach parts, cleaning a pestle and mortar is a breeze. You can simply rinse it with soap and water and scrub it with a brush if necessary. Additionally, since it's constructed of robust materials, you don't have to be concerned about damaging it during cleaning.

 

6) Provides a Calming Experience

 

 granite mortar and pestle with spices

Credit: Envato Elements/ LightFieldStudios

 

When it comes to using a food processor, the experience can often be chaotic and noisy. The loud and jarring sound of the machine can be distracting and impersonal, making it challenging to connect with the ingredients being prepared.

In contrast, using a pestle and mortar requires a different level of attention and focus that can be calming and grounding. By manually grinding and crushing ingredients, one can fully engage with the process and develop a deeper connection with the ingredients. The gentle pressure applied by the pestle and the subtle changes in texture and aroma during the grinding process can also be a source of delight that engages both the mind and body.

 

7) Durable and Sustainable Choice

 

 hands crushing spice in mortar and pestle

Credit: Envato Elements/ vasiliybudarin

 

When it comes to sustainability in the kitchen, a pestle and mortar can offer a significant advantage over a food processor. Unlike blenders that depend on electricity and often consume more energy than necessary, pestle and mortars only require the user's strength and effort to operate. This low energy requirement makes them a sustainable choice.

Moreover, since pestle and mortars are made from materials like ceramic, they are far more resilient than electric food processors. When properly cared for, these treasured kitchen tools can last for generations. This makes it an excellent investment for anyone who enjoys cooking on a budget.

 

Summary

 

In conclusion, a pestle and mortar is a time-tested tool that can outperform modern food processors in many ways. So, the next time you find yourself in the kitchen, it is worth considering using this reliable tool instead of a food processor to enhance your culinary skills.

If you're looking for the ultimate kitchen companion for grinding spices, Pepe Nero has got you covered. Our mortar and pestles are crafted from high-quality materials and are built to deliver exceptional performance and long-lasting durability. Whether you're crushing spices or making curry paste, this tool will assist you in achieving the perfect texture and flavor every time. Place your order today to experience the difference that a Pepe Nero mortar and pestle can make in your kitchen. 


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