Basalt stone: Molcajetes and Metates
San Lucas Evangelista, Jalisco
MOLCAJETES AND METATES, These kitchen tools have been part of the Mexican gastronomy since our ancestors. Surprisingly they are not only for cooking, they are also for grinding medicinal plants and gird the raw material to create the color from some handcrafts. They practically were the first mortars, blenders and rollers from the Mexican culture. The flavor of food changes when these utensils are used during preparation. The flavor from the molcajete sauce is spectacular.
The artisans have been improving the technique and creating different kinds of pieces that are not just the traditionals, like: shot glasses, flowerpots, boards and plates. To work, the stone requires strength and skills, since a false hit can break the piece, which already had a lot of work time and energy to be elaborated.
Things to consider
- When asked for very big pieces, the weight must be taken into account.
- They can only be done in natural color
- The natural of the stone is porous.
- Width and long measurements are measured in inches, the height in centimeters.
- Being stone, if it is placed in a delicate surface, it can be scratched. We suggest to be careful with that.
- It is suggested to cure the stone if is going to be used for food.
How to cure?
- Rinse with plenty of water and use a stiff brush the molcajete.
- Take a handful of raw rise, crush it inside of the molcajete with the tajolote (pestle that comes with the molcajete).
- Cover all the area where the food will have contact, trying to cover each hole.
- Make this process until all the rice is grounded and come out white, as long as it continues to come out in other color, you must continue the process. If it is necessary, you have to throw away the rice and add new one until these specifications are fulfilled.
- Rinse with water, without brush and is ready to use.
Carved stone pieces are meant to last a lifetime with special cares. Nevertheless, if a piece gets damaged of broken, we recommend some responsible ways for recycling and reusing:
- Pieces of broken metates and molcajetes can be placed back together with a strip or rope and be used as flower pot holders.
- Small and medium sized broken pieces can be placed at the bottom of flower pots for drainage.