The Chef’s Grind
FinaMill cleverly reinvents the spice mill
by Andrew Chalk
The serious coffee aficionado grinds his own coffee to get exceptionally fresh taste. So, should the serious cook grind his own spices for the same reason? I asked David Anthony Temple and Ryan Stover, partners at ChefDAT, and they agreed that “freshly ground spices are just unparalleled. Fresh ground prevents oxidation.”
I have used a hand grinder, or a mortar and pestle, in the past. But I was just sent a review copy of an electric spice grinder - the FinaMill. Electric spice grinders are likely not new, but the FinaMill is the grinding equivalent of Bombas socks or Mack Weldon underwear in that it takes an old-line product and reinvents it from the ground up.
Thus, the FinaMill keeps different spices (or herbs, it does them as well) separate to prevent cross-contamination. This is achieved with ‘pods’, transparent plastic chambers, one for each spice. You fill several of them up with the spices you use and swap pods in the grinder when you want to use them.
It also lets you adjust the fineness of the grind, just like a good coffee burr grinder, with an easy twist.
I tried it with a few spices I had to hand. Black peppercorns, coriander seeds, and whole cloves (with those awkward stems). The FinaMill made short work of all of them. And it is so easy compared with the old manual grinder (let alone the purgatory of a mortar and pestle). The one-click emaciation of spice particles give you an almost megalomaniacal feeling of power.
The whole unit is compact to store on the kitchen counter. One version is powered by three AA-batteries ($24.95), another by a rechargeable battery ($39.95). Additional pods are ($8.95). It complies with all relevant US and European safety standards. Order here.
This version is for the serious home cook, a professional version is slated for later this year.