where to buy a molcajete/tejolote?
We already checked out Las Palmas and Casa Lucas on 24th street in the city, but the molcajetes they had were too big and too porous. And painted to resemble animals. They appeared to be more decoration than utensil.
Any suggestions on where to go for a bigger selection/higher quality in or near the city?
Also - there were no tejolotes to be found - do they sell them behind the counter, or were they just out of stock? I assumed they'd be sold as a set, but I guess not.
I don't know if I've ever seen any good ones. We have one in the traditional shape with 3 legs that we found locally, but it is so porous and soft that the mole ingredients I tried to grind in it all got stuck in the crevices and it released a lot of sand. I'm wondering if local abuelitas even use these, or just use their food processors.
I keep meaning to hit Japan town and see if they have some of those great stone grinding bowls from Korea.
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Depends on what exactly you are looking for. For true Mexican salsas and guacamoles there is no substitute for good quality lava rock. The molcahete is properly coarse to grind things like tomatoes, tomatillos, chiles, etc.. It also imparts a distinct mineral-y flavor.
If you want it to grind spices and pound garlic however, something less porous like what Xanadude suggested would be a better option.
If your worried about the feet doing damage, a thick towel folded in four does the trick, stops it from moving as well.