A Mexican Powerhouse for Salsas, Pesto and, Yes, Guac

Jorge Gaviria’s mission is to take Mexican cooking back to the basics. His online market, Masienda, sells the calcium hydroxide needed for nixtamalization, comals for cooking tortillas, and, now, it has a supply of molcajetes handmade in Puebla for grinding corn. These mortar-and-pestles, as handsome as Olmec sculptures, are made of natural basalt lava rock by carvers called canteros, who maintain a craft with millenniums of tradition. The molcajetes are ample at 20 pounds and have a three-cup capacity. Keep one on display, like the classic Italian marble mortar and pestle for making pesto, and use it to produce salsas, guacamole, Indian masalas, Vietnamese broken rice and, yes, pesto.

Basalt Molcajete, $95 including shipping, masienda.com.

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