dealsnatural granite mortar & pestle set for $12.99

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It's ... OK.

Run a search on Amazon and compare the inside dimensions as well as materials (polished granite, granite, marble ...). Some of them helpfully list the actual capacity of the mortar in cups.

I can say this: I have a granite one, two cups. It's indispensable once you begin exploring all the things you can do with them. For instance: making pesto? You'll never use a blender for that again. Grinding rubs for meats from the whole spices? Amazing. You'll never buy another ready-made rub.

Also: they look awesome on the counter and will outlive your entire genetic line.

[EDIT: Here's the one I have and love: http://www.amazon.com/Stone-Granite-Mortar-Pestle-capacity/dp/B000163N6G/ref=sr_1_1?s=kitchen&ie=UTF8&qid=1320527780&sr=1-1 ]

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@sdbcmr: I see Amazon has a 1.5 cup as well. My wife makes guacamole about twice a week. Would the 1.5 cup be large enough or do you suggest the 2 cup? Great Christmas gift.

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@rmsalt: I'd go for the biggest, heaviest m&p you can find room for on your counter. If you've used them before, you know that a really smooth surface in them isn't good, so polished stone and porcelain don't work nearly as well as rougher granite, which works much better.

In a funny way, it's a bit like using an ax: the heavier the ax, the easier it is to use, because the weight of the thing just makes it more effective. It's like that with a m&p, too. Bigger and heavier works faster and easier, and doesn't tend to "dance" across the surface it's resting on.

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This isn't particularly a great price as my local kitchen-stuff store has them for similar prices... especially when you factor in shipping.

However, I have to wonder what "unnatural" granite would be? Why does one need to specify that granite is natural?

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@rmsalt: If you need a mortar and pestle to make guacamole, your avacados aren't ripe.

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I've had granite and marble but ceramic is the way to go. I'll pass.

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@rshaker2: I have a beautiful olive wood mortar & pestle w/a matching cutting board. Lovely pieces. Never used them... they're currently sitting on my countertop pretending to be sculptures or decorative pieces.

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i found a 2 cup one of these at tjmaxx for 8.50. was there tonight and they had about 4 or 5 of them on the self still.

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Smooth m&p's are for chalky or powdery substances. That's why the white, ceramic ones are associated with Rx. The rougher bored are good for grinding fresh herbs or grains.

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@starbob: Because there's faux granite. Not used for m&p though, it is typically used for countertops and other flat surfaces.

https://www.google.com/search?q=faux+granite

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@thepenrod: Amen! Don't need if avocados are ripe!

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@thepenrod: I wouldn't be too fast to make a rule about that. There are different styles of guacamole - different textures, even different ingredients. Just within Mexico there are various styles; expand your range to the Tex-Mex and Cali-Mex regions, and beyond, and there are as many different ways to make guacamole as there are people making it.

You undoubtedly have a way you like to make it. I say, make it that way. It's not that someone else "needs" a m&p - but that they prefer to use one.

It's an ancient tool. Given that a version of it has been used for grinding corn for tortillas (often imparting minerals to the grain that are nutritionally significant) - I wouldn't be surprised to learn of times and places in Mexico in which a m&p was used for blending ingredients for guacamole.

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Note: This deal is not dead - it's just not the deal of the day. Click on the link in the OP, and scroll down... it's there.

Or try this: http://www.13deals.com/product_detail.php?id=18866