The best pesto isn’t made in a blender, and it certainly doesn’t come from a jar. It’s made the old-fashioned way, with the original food processor: a mortar and pestle. Crushing herbs and spices manually optimizes oil extraction, boosting flavor and fragrance. Milton Brook is the definitive British mortar and pestle set, in production since the 19th century and used in pharmaceutical labs just as commonly as it is in kitchens.

The mortar and pestle are fully vitrified (hardened) with controlled kiln firing so as to eliminate microscopic pores in the clay. And while it’s made from unglazed porcelain, it’s anything but delicate: oven- and dishwasher-safe, freezer-proof and impermeable to flavors, odors and stains. A pouring lip on the mortar allows for the easy transfer of sauces and pastes, while an unfinished beechwood handle provides a handsome, minimal non-slip grip.

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