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Chefs’ Must-Have Tools: Marble Mortar & Pestle

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“I like big marble or granite mortars, stone-age technology that modern engineering has yet to replace,” says Brian Murphy, executive chef at Nostrana in Portland, OR. “They are heavy enough to stay put through pounding, and the rough surface has the right toothiness to grind ingredients thoroughly. The food processor begs to take over pesto duty, but it can’t replicate the flavor or texture I can get with a mortar and pestle. And if there’s music playing in the kitchen, it’s hard not to pound along with the beat.”

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