I never liked pepper growing up, but when I was an adult my sister-in-law gave me a fresh pepper grinder. It’s a modern one made of stainless steel and, not wanting to be rude, I thought I should try this pepper grinder. I couldn’t believe how good this freshly ground pepper tasted! It’s a staple in our household now.
The pepper grinder, also known as a pepper mill, was invented by the Peugeot brothers of France in the early 1840s. (Yes, the same Peugeot family who makes cars.) It gave people a much easier way to grind down and crack peppercorns rather than the very labour intensive method of using a mortar and pestle! Peugeot’s was made of metal and the grooves inside the casing were made of two different sizes: one cracked the peppercorns and the second groove ground them.
Our little pepper grinder isn’t a Peugeot but it’s still pretty interesting. It’s a small, square wooden box, about 4.5”. There is a brass dome on top with a metal arm extending from its centre, topped with a wooden handle. The trim around the box is painted red.
There is a little latch on the brass dome on the top of the box that you can open to put in your peppercorns. Then you move the handle to grind them and the nice, fine pepper drops into a little drawer at the bottom of the grinder.
It's faint, but the drawer still has a very pleasant smell of wood and pepper.
It almost looks like it might have been homemade. On the bottom of the grinder towards the left-hand side, you can see a wood knot.
And Peugeot is still recognized as the best pepper grinder on the market. Hmmmm…I may have just discovered what I might like for a Christmas gift!
If you want to see a library of many different kinds of pepper mills, just check out this link: http://mypeppermills.net/html/the_collection.html.