A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from February 10, 2008
Tejolote (stone pestle)

A tejolote is a stone pestle, used with a molcajete (mortar) to grind food. It is a traditional piece of Mexican cookery.


(Oxford English Dictionary)
molcajete, n.
A mortar, usually made of stone or clay, used in Mexican cooking for pounding spices.
1906 M. E. SOUTHWORTH 101 Mexican Dishes 13 Soak five chiles in hot water.., wash them well and put in a mortar (the Mexicans use the molcajete and tejolote).
1929 Jrnl. Amer. Folk-lore 42 174 Chili peppers, and other condiments are ground with the stone mortar and pestle, the molcajete (molcaxitl) and tejolote (texolotl).

Google Books
One Hundred & One Mexican Dishes
compiled by May E. Southworth
San Francisco, CA; Paul Elder and Company
1906
Pg. 13:
CHILE CON CARNE
CUT a pound of fresh pork into inch chunks and parboil. Soak five chiles in hot water, take out the seeds and veins, wash them well and put in a mortar (the Mexicans use the molcajete and tejolote). Pound to a pulp, adding a little garlic, black pepper, two cloves and a cooked tomato. Fry this in hot lard; then add the meat with some of the liquid in which it was boiled and a little salt. Cover and let it cook down until rather thick.

Google Books
Made in Mexico:
The Story of a Country’s Arts and Crafts
by Patricia Fent Ross
New York, NY: Alfred A. Knopf
1952
Pg. 320:
tejolote (tay-ho-LOH-tay). The piece of volcanic stone which serves as the grinder or pestle in the special mortar-and-pestle set for grinding spices. 

Google Books
Eating in Mexico
by Amando Farga
Mexican Restaurant Association
1963
Pg. 186:
MOLCAJETE.—A kind of mortar of pocked black stone, resting on three small legs, used for grinding, with the aid of the tejolote, a stone pestle.

Google Books
Discovering Folklore Through Community Resources
by Magdalena Benavides Sumpter
Dissemination and Assessment Center for Bilingual Education
1978
Pg. 5:
To make company leave soon, put the pestle on top of the stove. (Mortar and pestle: molcajete y tejolote.)

Google Books
Mexico
by Hilary Hylton
2nd Edition
Houston, TX: Gulf Publishing Company
1991
tejolote (tay-hoh-loh-tay) — the stone pestle used in conjunction with the molcajete.

The Tex-Mex Cookbook
by Robb Walsh
New York, NY: Broadway Books
2004
Pg. 13:
MOLCAJETE
The three-legged stone mortar or molcajete is the Cuisinart of ancient Mexican cooking. (The pestle is called the tejolote.) Although it has been replaced by the more convenient electric appliance in much of Mexico, the molcajete is still considered superior to the food processor or blender for making salsas, guacamole, and other blended mixtures that need to retain some of their chunkiness. And in the case of guacamole, it also serves as an attractive serving dish.

Posted by Barry Popik
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • (0) Comments • Sunday, February 10, 2008 • Permalink