The History of the Molcajete

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A molcajete is the Mexican mortar and pestle, which is used to create a number of dishes in Mexico. Although there have been countless technological advances in kitchen tools, the molcajete remains a vital element in many Mexican households and restaurants. You can cook without one, but a molcajete can help you cook traditional dishes from Mexico as they were meant to be prepared.



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The molcajete was first used in the Tehuacan Valley of present-day Mexico.

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Time Frame

Molcajetes were used up to 6000 years ago.


Name Origin

The word "molcajete" comes from the Aztec words "molli" (which means "seasoning" or "sauce") and "caxitl" (which means "bowl").



Molcajetes were traditionally made from volcanic rock. Today, some are made from other types of porous rock or man-made materials.


Molcajetes first developed when, over time, the grinding of coarse foods caused a hollow bowl to form in the grinding stone.


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