This is the question we are asked by the polite waiter seconds after the salad has been placed before us. He is no doubt wielding something resembling an eighteenth century tool of war approximately three feet long with which he will bestow the pepper.
I am a self-described Pepper Monkey. LOVE the stuff. Can't get enough. I had a very fine mill and shaker set by Peugot that I purchased when I first entered into the food biz about seventeen years ago. Sadly, over the last few months, the product the mill turned out was rather sub-par. The grinding mechanism was dulled from years of being strangled to within an inch of its life in my fists. It was time for a new pepper mill.
The husband and I wanted a wood six inch set in the classic style for the table. Mill and shaker. It turns out that is increasingly hard to find. The current fashion seems to be that everyone also wants a salt mill on the table. Pish posh. Though I am not a fan of table salt (I find it acrid), I am a traditionalist about having a shaker on the table for salt. Not a mill.
It took some searching, but we eventually found a set suitable for the table. The problem is that the grinding mechanism isn't fabulous. Okay, not fabulous enough for me. I wanted a larger mill for cooking. A real tool of the trade. Enter my beautiful, as yet unnamed new friend. Behold:
The Walnut Mario Batali 12" Vic Firth Pepper Mill. I ordered her from the fine folks at Dick's Restaurant Supply (one of my favorite stores). It took her over two months to arrive, but I picked her up at the store the other day. She is so fine, she makes the rest of my kitchen look shabby.
Vic Firth pepper mills are special because they produce the widest range of grinds available from coarse to fine. It is a product made in America of the highest quality and I give it my ringing endorsement. Plus, I think you get better pricing if you buy it from a restaurant supply store.
We are still getting to know one other, but I am certain that we will have many happy years together.
The End ;)