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Story on Pestel and Mortar

I would like to touch a little on other materials being used to make pestel and mortar.

There are marble ones, normally seen at the chemist, used to break up pills etc. There are wooden ones. Normally bigger in size. I see it often being used in Thailand, to make those mouth watering "somtam", among other things. I was given as a gift once, by my mother, a nice smooth granite set, complete with engraving of flowers on the outside. It was a work of art. It was a very sad thing when I dropped the pestel one day and broke it into two.

The story I want to tell you involves marble ones. Lots and lots of them! When I was in secondary school, during my final year, we had to take an examination. For the biology subject, it involved some laboratory work. We did not know what kind of procedure we were required to perform. The science block was sealed from everyone before the big day. No one could snoop around to see what kind of apparatus were being set up.

So when my class was herded into the laboratory, we saw on each workbench a set of marble pestel and mortar. It turned out we were required to pound some fresh ginger, squeeze the extract and do some chemical analysis of its compund. The building literally shook when 30 students pounded vigorously at the fresh ginger. It was laborious work. Especially for the boys, who were hardly used to help their mothers cooking at home.

Needless to say, the next class got some clues from the noise. Still, it did not help much because the material in question still could be anything. When I remember this, it would make me smile. Plenty of school days stories I can tell but none would involve any spices except for this one.

More stories will follow as this web site grows.

If you have similar stories related to pickles and spices, please share it with the rest of the world by submitting it to me using the form below.

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