SPOONS AND GRINDERS

Spoon use and manufacture is widespread throughout Mexico. To prepare both sweet and savory foods in pans, pots and larger vessels, cooks often prefer spoons fashioned from pine, granadillo or copal wood; sizes and shapes vary by use: deeper spoons are needed to cook sauces and moles; rice requires a shallower implement. Spoons can be unadorned or carved, but are always finished in natural wood.
Grinders are preferably made of wood, or can be electrical, free-standing or—in Michoacán and Mexico State only—can take the form known as violín. There are also metal whisks and natural woods beaters such as those used to make froth in the Veracruzan beverage known as popo. Artisans fashion Mexico’s most beautiful hand-carved wooden grinders in Michoacán, Mexico State and Oaxaca. In Yucatán, hollow wooden chocolateras have a built-in grinder on the top. Grinders are used to make chocolate and tejate foam. Tejate is a refreshing and aromatic pre-Hispanic beverage from Oaxaca, made with corn and cocoa.