Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Greater Boston Area >
Jul 14, 2009 01:37 PM

Granite mortar and pestle search

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!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. 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

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

      1. re: Taralli

        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. Sometimes China Fair in Cambridge has them.

      1. 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

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

          1. re: StriperGuy

            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

              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. 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. 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

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

              1. re: galleygirl

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


                1. re: StriperGuy

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

                2. re: galleygirl

                  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

                    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

                      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

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