In a recent post, where I talked about the items I had purchased during my most recent trip to Italy, I mentioned "something for the table (a pair of objects, actually), which I will describe in a future post." Like my beloved grattugia, I obtained the objects in exchange for "points" earned by my parents by shopping (fare la spesa) at a specific supermercato.
The objects were described as saliera e pepiera (salt shaker and pepper shaker), but the salt and pepper contained in them go through a grinder before coming out from one of their feet, so, they are actually a salt mill and a pepper mill, macinasale and macinapepe, respectively. I particularly like the salt mill, which allows me to place coarse sel gris on the table for our guests.
I like my salt and pepper mills a lot, because they are colorful and have a cheerful shape. My husband describes them as methane molecules, based on their shape: imagine the carbon atom as their core body and the four hydrogen atoms, one at the end of each limb. There is a lid on the "head" of the mill, which you open in order to fill the "body" with salt or pepper. To grind, you turn the upper part of the body and the ground salt or pepper comes out from one of the feet, which also has a lid that prevents sprinkling when the mill is not in use (both lids are visible on the pepper mill in the photo above).
A few expressions related to pepper (I have talked about salt in
- pepe in grani (whole peppercorns)
- pepe macinato (ground pepper)
- sale e pepe (salt-and-pepper), as in capelli sale e pepe (salt-and-pepper hair)
- tutto pepe (spirited)
- peperino ((real) live wire)