Through the Mill

Welp. What are you gonna do?

In 2016, I bought a red Peugeot pepper mill like the one on the left after reading several online reviews, including a recommendation in The Wirecutter. Many of these reviews promised that although the Peugeot is expensive, you might never need to buy another pepper mill as long as you live. I paid £39 for a 30cm model, and actually that’s not a bad price for an item that can be as much as £50 (it’s just over £42 at the moment).

Fast forward to 2022 and I just bought a replacement. My Peugeot has been so flaky and unreliable lately that it just grew too frustrating. It would work, it would not work. My OH moaned every time she tried to use it. Last a lifetime, eh? I’ve replaced it with one like the one on the right, from Zwilling. It’s not as tall, but it has an adjustable ceramic grinder, and it seems pretty good. It cost just under £35.

So then I contemplated the supposedly eternal Peugeot and wondered whether it was worth taking to France, where I only have a mini Peugeot mill. I decided I had nothing to lose by taking it apart and seeing what was what. So I emptied out all the peppercorns left in it and… oh.

Do you remember that time, Rob, when you bought a 5-pepper mix and tried to use it in the Peugeot mill? Only to discover that the softer red peppers tended to gum it up a bit, and the really big peppercorns (pimento) were really kind of too big for it?

Turns out, when I emptied out the contents, that there were still three (3) oversized pimentos in it from that time about three years ago when I poured a 5-pepper mix into it. And they were perfectly intact, even though it has supposedly been “empty” and refilled with standard black peppercorns several times since.

So maybe the oversized pimentos have been getting in the way on a regular basis and stopping it from working properly? Which is why shaking it around and adjusting the coarseness of the grind back and forth sometimes helped it to work properly again?

So I might take it to France after all…

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