El Molcajete

Relationship: Im/migrant
It's supported by two legs.
It's supported by two legs.

The molcajete is the Mexican version of the mortar and pestle. A molcajete is a cooking object supported by three legs accompanied with a grinding instrument known as the tejolete. Both are traditionally crafted from volcanic stone, such as Vesicular Basalts. A molcajete is utilized for the creation of guacamole, salsa and other foods by grinding such ingredients. This traditional Mexican object originates from Mesoamerica, six thousand years ago, first utilized by the Aztecs and Mayas. My grandmother on my mother’s side had it ever since the childhood of my mother, and passed it down to her as a heirloom. I’m in close contact with my grandmother as she’s been staying here in Napa for a few months now. It was brought along from somewhere in the Michoacán state of Mexico, my mother’s ephemeral home before her parents moved the family to California when she was a child. The molcajete’s heavy, but it’s easily transportable. Like previously stated, it’s made out of stone. I never paid attention to it, but my mother provided me with content on it. That’s why my mother feels strongly attached to it. It’s a piece of her family. The famous food that it’s designed to create makes her feel as if she’s at home and in her childhood. Not to mention, cooking is a major aspect of my family’s culture. Culturally speaking, it’s a Mexican object. Mexico’s where the majority of my family originates from. Like my mother said, the molcajete is a part of her nationality but also mine as well.

Place(s): Michoacán, Mexico

– Dominic Parra

Relationship:  Im/migrant Im/migrant