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Is there a way to get a quality molcajete and/or paellera in the U.S., specifically the eastern seaboard? I'd prefer not to fly to Texas, Mexico, or Spain to get them.

I've seen a few horror stories of people buying "genuine" molcajetes, only to find out that they're made of some mix of stone (and no basalt), and that they're utterly worthless.

What's the best way to get real foreign cookware like this?

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I buy everything from Amazon:… but I don't know anything about mortar/pestle quality. How can you tell a good one? I live in Texas and see them for sale everywhere from Bed Bath and Beyond to Ikea made out of basalt or ceramic. Are they rare out east? – Sobachatina Aug 18 '10 at 16:28
@Sobachatina - Like I mentioned, there doesn't seem to be a good way to ensure the authenticity. Several people have found that their "basalt" molcajetes are actually granite or other stone. I suppose unless you're a geologist, the average user will have a hard time figuring it out. Lucky you, living in Texas :). We don't get a whole lot of meso-american influence way out here. – awshepard Aug 19 '10 at 15:03
up vote 2 down vote accepted

You can buy very reputable paella pans from The Spanish Table. I got mine there in person and have been very happy with both the pan and the advice I received in buying it.

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