These tools were used throughout my childhood in the Caribbean, to make pounded root vegetables like yam and dasheen or pounded breadfruit. Similar to West African fufu. The M&P were usually made out of wood, and larger in size than the mortar and pestle you would have seen used on a cooking show.
I’m not a fan of fufu or toh-toh as it’s called in creole, but I like the idea of hand working your food over using a food processor. It just tastes better. You as the cook, would have more control over the texture of the finished product. In the case of seasonings, spices and herbs, you’d be able to rub out essential oils and flavors from your ingredients by crushing them rather than obliterating them in a food processor.
I mainly use mine to crush garlic, fresh thyme, parsley and rosemary. I use a standard granite mortar and pestle, it now lives on my counter top.
There are many ways you can experiment with your own seasoning mixes using a mortar and pestle.
Start with garlic and herbs with fresh roots including tumeric and ginger.
Do youLike chillies? Prep them in the M&P. Make your very own curry paste.
What would you use a Mortar and Pestle for?