[Sca-cooks] Pepper Mill: A Puzzle

ranvaig at columbus.rr.com ranvaig at columbus.rr.com
Sun Jan 13 01:45:35 PST 2008

I'd assume that a pepper quern would be like the ones described here as spice grinders.
(these are reproductions made in the UK)


>--On Saturday, January 12, 2008 9:47 PM -0600 Terry Decker
><t.d.decker at worldnet.att.net> wrote:
>> The hand mill is probably, but not necessarily, a saddle quern.  What is
>> the  pepper mill?  A mortar and pestle, or some more interesting device?
>> I  haven't had much luck finding any further information.
>I'm not sure if this is useful or not, but I found this quote in the
>footnotes to "Catholicon anglicum: an English-Latin wordbook, dated 1483",
>published in 1881:
>"Querne. Mola, Moletrina, Pistrilla, Trusatilis mola. Trusatile is for
>malte or mustarde, bycause it is turned with the hande. Querne for pepper.
>Pistellum' Hulcet. This suggests, perhaps, a mortar and pestle.
>The OED dates the word "Pepper mill" as a fairly late (16th or 17thC)
>adoption from german or dutch, and notes that the usual term prior is
>pepper quern. There is this quote that they identify as from an old english
>recipe: Grinde reades caules sædes ane handfulle on piporcwyrna.
>In addition, while I haven't been able to track down the Latin, the quote
>is from Neckam's Libro de Utensilibus -- knowing the original latin might
>help point to a more precise description of the instrument.
>Hope this helps.
>toodles, margaret
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