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Granite mortar and pestle search

snstaple Jul 14, 2009 01:37 PM

Does anyone know where I can find a big (2-3 cup) granite mortar and pestle in the boston area? I plan on looking at cmart, mings and some indian grocers, but I don't remember seeing any there before. Any ideas? Thanks!

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  1. justbeingpolite Jul 14, 2009 01:43 PM

    I saw a granite mortar and pestle in Marshall's in Bedford this week. not sure if it'd hold 3 cups, but two at least, I thought. They have marbley ones a little smaller.
    Can get molchajete's there too, occaisionally, though not recently.
    Lava (basalt?) molchajete's may be had at William Sonoma (although pricier). Perhaps they'd have larger granite mortar and pestles.
    Good luck

    2 Replies
    1. re: justbeingpolite
      Taralli Jul 14, 2009 01:45 PM

      I think I saw them a couple of weeks ago at the Watertown Marshall's.

      1. re: Taralli
        galleygirl Jul 14, 2009 07:39 PM

        I got mine at the Back Bay Marshall's, a total steal, at something like $5.99...But then, I saw about a dozen at the Swampscot Marshalls. They had the most amazing designs; one I really coveted. It was a solid square of granite, with the grinding bowl hollowed out of it.. I SO wanted it,but I think a girl only needs one stone molchajete, and one ceramic one, for her Asian needs...

    2. k
      kate used to be 50 Jul 14, 2009 01:52 PM

      Sometimes China Fair in Cambridge has them.

      1. p
        pesto Jul 14, 2009 02:04 PM

        Would you consider marble? I bought a gorgeous, functional marble mortar with a wood pestle at wm. Sonoma for about $80. I love it and use it all the time.

        3 Replies
        1. re: pesto
          StriperGuy Jul 14, 2009 02:19 PM

          You can get marble one's for about $20 in Chinatown or sometimes at restaurant supply places like Eastern Baking Supply.

          1. re: StriperGuy
            pesto Jul 14, 2009 05:45 PM

            Not like my beautiful one. It is Italian...I love it...I looked at the others and fell in love. Rational? No, but is attraction ever rational?

            Seriously, I learned about this one in a book by Fred Plotkin about the Liguarian Coast and searched high and low for it. Turned out, it was a Wm Sonoma. Just loved the design.

            Has that ever happened to you?

            1. re: pesto
              StriperGuy Jul 14, 2009 07:17 PM

              You got a bargain William's Enema now has it for $99:


              Seriously, I have seen them just as nice in Asian stores for $20-30.

        2. f
          fbinhull Jul 14, 2009 05:40 PM

          Most Latin-American markets will have molcajetes - relatively inexpensive as well. I remember seeing them at a little market in East Boston where Bennington and Chelsea intersect.

          1. PinchOfSalt Jul 14, 2009 05:52 PM

            I got mine years ago in a Southeast Asian food store that no longer exists. I still see them from time to time in markets that cater to Thai and other nearby Asian nationalities. The prices in those stores are usually very reasonable. I have also seen them online for a lot more money, not even counting the shipping. (Oh so heavy!) So in addition to the stores you list, you might check out Kam Man and the shops on Shirley Avenue in Revere.

            7 Replies
            1. re: PinchOfSalt
              galleygirl Jul 14, 2009 07:37 PM

              Most of the ones at Asian stores are ceramic, no?

              1. re: galleygirl
                StriperGuy Jul 14, 2009 07:42 PM

                I routinely see really nice marble ones at various asian stores. I myself have a really cool yellow and green one from Mallorca. Tienda.com has a somewhat similar one here for $14.95:


                1. re: StriperGuy
                  galleygirl Jul 14, 2009 07:46 PM

                  I stand corrected.. I got my clay one from the Asian market in Revere, the marble one from Mah-shall's...

                2. re: galleygirl
                  PinchOfSalt Jul 14, 2009 09:31 PM

                  I think it depends on what part of Asia the store concentrates on. Mine is definitely granite, and in my experience that is the main kind found in Thai/Vietnamese markets. The Japanese versions have ceramic mortars and wooden pestles. I can't speak to what the usual material is for Chinese mortars and pestles because, come to think of it, I don't see those tools showing up frequently in Chinese supermarkets, and that may be because comparatively few Chinese recipes ask the cook to grind spices or make a flavoring paste...

                  1. re: PinchOfSalt
                    galleygirl Jul 15, 2009 06:33 AM

                    I guess by ceramic, I should point out that it's red clay with ridges inside, the kind they use for grinding yum tom in at Thai and Cambodian places...

                    1. re: PinchOfSalt
                      kobuta Jul 15, 2009 10:10 AM

                      Mortar and pestles are used quite a bit in Chinese medicine though, so it's actually not usual to find them in larger Chinese markets where they sell a good selection of dishes and cookware.

                  2. re: PinchOfSalt
                    maryv Jul 21, 2009 05:37 PM

                    We got ours online. Best use of a Priority Mail flat-rate box EVER.

                  3. StriperGuy Jul 15, 2009 06:50 AM

                    Although shipping is high, there are literally dozens of marble and granite mortar and pestles on Amazon in the $10 to $40 range. Still, I see nice ones at H-Mart, etc. all the time.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: StriperGuy
                      snstaple Jul 15, 2009 10:16 AM

                      I am trying to avoid the cost of online shopping and would rather support a local business anyway. Is there an h-mart near Boston or just online? I intend on making lots of chili pastes with it, Indian and southeast asian, and was under the impression that the granite ones worked well for that...I will check out the clay ridge kind as well! Thanks so much!

                      1. re: snstaple
                        StriperGuy Jul 15, 2009 10:20 AM

                        Try any of the Asian supermarket's in Chinatown or the South End. H-Mart is in the same building across the street from the Chinatown Arch that houses a parking garage and Hei La Moon.

                        Also I am sure these guys have them in the North End:

                        Eastern Bakers Supply Co Inc
                        - www.easternbakers.com - (617) 742-0228

                        And the restaurant supply place near Hei La Moon would have them as well.

                        1. re: StriperGuy
                          beetlebug Jul 15, 2009 11:01 AM

                          Do you mean CMart? Hmart is the place that will be opening in Burlington.

                          1. re: beetlebug
                            StriperGuy Jul 15, 2009 11:08 AM

                            Whoops, CMart...

                    2. BostonZest Jul 15, 2009 02:21 PM

                      I bought mine at Sur La Table at the Chestnut Hill Mall. It is granite and I adore it. In fact it has banished my food processor to the back of a cupboard.


                      1. a
                        avial Jul 22, 2009 03:58 AM

                        I got mine from IKEA, it's marble: http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/pro...

                        1. litchick Jul 26, 2009 07:45 PM

                          Just saw some at the TJMaxx Alewife today...

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