One of the most used tools in my kitchen is a brass mortar and pestle from Turkey. It was a gift from my former mother-in-law and I have had it for more than 25 years. It has been used to crush enough garlic to kill thousands of vampires ;-). Maybe it is just me but there is something so relaxing about smashing garlic! The reason it is such a perfect tool is because it is essential for making the best Garlic Yogurt, which is an accompaniment to many Turkish dishes. No matter how finely you try and chop the garlic with a knife or garlic press, it will never compare to a brass mortar and pestle. The texture is perfect for making garlic bread also. One trick is to add a little salt with the garlic, this really gets the garlic in a nice paste form. Most of the time I use it mainly for garlic but I have used it to crush spices on occasion. If you have a chance, go to Turkey for vacation and pick one up or if that is out of the question, order one off bestturkishfood.com. They have a great selection of food items and cookware if you are interested in making some great Turkish food!