Tuesday, September 13, 2011
Focus on Equipment: Peugeot Mills
I see light streaming through the window and I think, "I'll photograph my salt and pepper mills!" I'm a strange one, I'll admit. However, I've been wanting to share these with you for a while. They're one of the best kitchen-related purchases I've ever made.
We bought the pepper mill (on the right) first, because I didn't realize at the time how important a salt mill would be. Turns out I needed one to grind my own sea salt. Anyway, we went with the Peugeot because my husband is an engineer and had to check "under the hood" of all the pepper mills. We didn't want anything that required a battery and I wanted something that would age well, so the Peugeots were already the top contenders. Paul checked them out and deemed them the best (mechanically speaking) of the lot.
It may be quite ridiculous, but I feel a teeny frisson of joy every time I use my Peugeot mills--they're substantial and provide a very satisfying grinding noise. What can I say? I'm a total nerd. I also think they look so darn happy. They're both wood, but the pepper mill is stained while the salt mill is painted a cheery yellow. We could have bought a matching set--if we hadn't bought the salt mill two years after the pepper mill. Oh, well! I actually like that they don't match.
There are a lot of bad reviews on the Williams Sonoma website for these mills, which I can't understand. I haven't had any problems with lacquer chipping off and I've certainly had no mechanical problems. It's very important to use whole peppercorns in the pepper mill and large sea salt crystals (no Maldon salt!) in the salt mill. They are picky. One person said her salt mill didn't adequately grind Kosher salt, which is nowhere near the size of a Brittany sea salt bit. Another reviewer complained that the bottom part (where you select the grind) broke off. It's very important to remember to adjust the tension on the top metal knob when you adjust the grind: too loose and it won't grind properly, too tight and there may be a dangerous amount of tension on the mill. These aren't cheapies from Wal-Mart. Give them the respect they deserve and they'll reciprocate with fabulous freshly-ground salt and pepper.
Labels: focus on