molcajete y tejolete

Pronunciation: [mohl-kah-HEH-teh ee teh-hoh-LOH-teh]

The Mexican term for "mortar and pestle"—molcajete being the mortar, tejolete the pestle. The black, rough texture of both pieces is a result of the fact that they're made of basalt (volcanic rock). They are used in the traditional manner for grinding spices and herbs and other mixtures. They're also used as serving dishes for preparations such as guacamole in Mexican restaurants.

From The Food Lover's Companion, Fourth edition by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst. Copyright © 2007, 2001, 1995, 1990 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc.

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