Grinding Peppercorns

By Christopher Hirsheimer

Published on September 27, 2001

Banished to the back of a kitchen cupboard too high to reach without a step stool, my collection of pepper grinders gathers dust. There's a square Lucite number that lets you see the pepper grinding (if the pepper ever did grind, which it doesn't), and six assorted pumped-up wooden grinders, each one uglier than the next and all of them much more show than go. On the counter next to my stove sits the Cadillac of pepper grinders, but to get a proper grind I always have to jigger with the tension screw. I like Jacques Pepin's low-tech trick: Spread peppercorns on a cutting board and use the bottom of a small pan to crush them to the grind you need.

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