Years ago when I first moved to London, I had a fully furnished flat. It had everything from the usual big pieces of furniture to things you wouldn’t have even thought you really needed like a pizza cutter! Surprisingly, the only thing it didn’t have were salt and pepper grinders. Now I know you can get around this by buying table salt and ground pepper but it just isn’t the same as freshly ground (call me a seasoning snob!).
I looked around casually in shops, it wasn’t imperative but I happened across a pair of Cole and Mason grinders. I really loved the design of them but at the time I didn’t feel I could justify the money when they were just salt and pepper grinders and they weren’t even that expensive! (My flatmate will tell you just how maniacal I became about not buying anything that eventually would have to be shipped home)
Anyway enough about my weirdness (the fiancé calls it “special”), the uniqueness about them was that their grinder mechanism was on top so that you don’t have pepper and salt scattered all over your table when you put them down. You flipped them over to grind, and flipped them over again to stand on the table. Not that much more work that the usual grinders (much less actually when you think about having to clean the table).
So I did regrettably buy the usual clear plastic grinders and found that the table got covered in salt and pepper grounds. I eventually got fed up and found a flimsy plastic tray to stand them on to stop the mess. This lasted a while until I got fed up with having to carry the grinders to the table along with the flimsy plastic tray too! I just kept thinking about those Cole and Mason grinders and regretting the choice not to buy them.
The hunt was on. I tried Cole and Mason’s website and didn’t find any that tickled my fancy. They all looked the same, yes they were inverted and kept the mess in the grinder but I wanted something a little more inspiring and that’s when I found these Menu grinders.
These sleek bottle-shaped grinders are perfect for what I need. They don’t look like grinders in the traditional sense. As they are bottle-shaped the expectation is that they hold a liquid such as olive oil or a salad dressing. How very deceitful!
The grinding mechanism is at the top of course, powered by a ceramic grinder. Apparently ceramic grinders are good because they don’t blunt as easily as plastic or metal grinders do. Longevity ticked. The dots at the top indicate the adjustment for coarseness and as you spin this around, the height of the grinding mechanism is adjusted. A few simple but meaningful dots!
The surface of the grinders almost feels like rubber. It makes them easy to grip and twist. The downside to this surface is that it shows up oil marks very easily but at the same time they can also be cleaned off very easily.
They come in two sizes, small and large. The ones I have are small. They don’t look all that small however, but it means that the frequency with which I need to fill them is dramatically reduced. The large size is taller.
The grinders come in a variety of natural, earthy colours and finishes. I have the ash and carbon pair (I figure that this made it more obvious that they were salt and pepper grinders in case my dinner guests got confused) with steel tops but you can also get wood tops to add to the earthy feel. There are also an all-steel versions in polished or brushed steel. Several options to suit your style!
And of course, you’re not limited to grinding salt and pepper either, you could fill them with a spice or even a mix of spices for your discerning palate!
I do not sell this product on my website and the link below is only a click-through to a supplier on Amazon but if you would like to get your hands on one, then click on the image.