Mortar and pestle crush, pulverize, and grind garlic, dried herbs, and spices by hand. They can be used as an alternative to a food processor or blender for making sauces like pesto or aioli. The food is placed in the bowl-shaped mortar and pounded with the handheld tool known as a pestle. A marble mortar provides stable weight, and its unpolished bowl gives a good grinding surface. Brass, glass, wooden, and ceramic models are also available.