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Piece of Roman mixing bowl

Roman food processsor?


The small stones embedded in this piece of pot tell you it is Roman. It is from a Roman mortarium or mixing bowl used to prepare herbs, spices and coarse vegetables about 1800 years ago. The potter pressed small stones into the surface of the wet clay of the interior of the bowl before it was fired in a kiln. This provided a rough surface against which the food was ground using a pestle. The Romans introduced this pottery when they when they came to Britain. The mortarium was a bit like a modern food processor, the Kenwood of its time! We still use a mortar and pestle in the kitchen today, for example, for removing the outside of a cardamom pod used in the preparation of curries.