This heavyweight mortar is hand caved from one solid piece of rock (known locally as "lava rock") at the mountain side, before being brought down on the back of a donkey (it's much lighter after being carved rather than bringing down the solid rock). Before starting to use this item you will need to "break it in" to ensure a smooth inner surface. The best way to do this is to grind it empty with a little bit of water. After a few minutes the inner surface should become smooth. Once you think it's nice and smooth, you can then test it with a little white rice - grind the rice and you will know that your mortar is ready for use if the rice flour that is produced is white without any grey imperfections. You're then ready to enjoy some great guacamole and salsa!