Thursday, August 21, 2008

Cookware for a lifetime.

There is one thing that comes to mind when it comes to quality heirloom quality cookware. Yes I didn't stutter I did say heirloom. Le Creuset.

I honestly was clueless to the value of cast iron enameled cookware until I was on a trip to France. There in the middle of this medieval restaurant was this gorgeous blue pot an open fire stove that must have been as old as the restaurant itself. An older woman was cooking cassoult and as much as I love cassoult I couldn't take my eyes off that pot. Well turns out it was an enameled cast iron pot and though I have no idea what the brand was it, and most likely it was older than anyone in the place, it left me wanting one of my own.

Once I got back into the states I came across a small pumpkin shaped Le Creuset baking dish. I begged and pleaded for it as a birthday present (as my birthday is in october) and no one took me seriously. I kept hearing "Why on earth would you want a casserole dish that costs that much. Well the funny thing is, I've had several casserole dishes since I asked for that Pumpkin and yes possibly the pumpkin cost a bit more but you know I've had to replace my cassarole dishes more than enough time to cover them.

Cast Iron Enamel is super strong, it conducts and holds heat better than pan you have ever used, its beautiful and available in almost a rainbow of colors, and quite simply if you take care of it it will easily outlast you. So when I say heirloom I really do mean you can buy a cast iron pot in your 20s and then give it to your grand kids or great grand kids. Le Creuset cookware items are warrantied for a lifetime, but with proper care they should last longer than that!

To be totally honest with you though I've been obsessed with cast iron enameled cookware for almost a decade I've never owned my own piece up till now. I've borrowed, begged, and practically stolen pieces from friends but in the end always had to give them back and my new round oven is everything I dreamed it would be, and actually more, as its my favorite color to boot. Its a stunningly gorgeous shade of turquoise called Caribbean which reminds me a bit of the color of the ocean off the coast of France which is fitting as the first time I saw a pot just like it was in a little town on a cliff in France overlooking the ocean.

It cooks fantastic, and holds heat better than any other pot I've used thus far, so much so that it will keep a soup hot for long after you turn the burner off but be warned it stays warm for a long time so don't go sticking your fingers on the pot until you know its cool. The best part though is its painless to clean. I had envisioned having to scrub it as its not wise to put your cast iron pans in the dishwasher not only are they very heavy and will wear on the dishwasher itself but it does affect their lifespan. Personally I see no reason to even consider putting mine in the dishwasher as no matter what I cook in it I've found that just a tiny bit of soapy water, a gently scrubby brush, and tada, clean. Even tomato based dishes.. not a stain on it. I will warn you in advance that cast iron bakeware is very heavy so if your cooking on a glass top stove as I am make sure you are careful not to bang the pot too abruptly on the cooking surface or drag it. Though its quite difficult past dropping a cast iron pot to really hurt it, It's certainly sturdy enough to hurt your feet, hands, and of course cooking surface if handled roughly. Tell the menfolk to back away from the enameled pot.

If your looking for that perfect gift for a mom, grandmother, or just someone who loves to cook usually I say "Buy anything but cleaning products or cooking products as it just looks as if your trying to say something" but in this case she will be THRILLED. Personally I'd practically kill to get my hands on a cast iron enamel skillet. I'm so curious to see how it cooks as I am so tickled with my oven that the skillet must three times as fabulous. I'm a skillet girl all the way, its my cooking dish of choice.

In the meantime head on over to Le Creuset and check out their selection. If your interested in purchasing online check out their online list of retailers and personally my favorite place to go and visit with Le Creuset is at Williams Sonoma. I have to go in every time I go to the mall and check them out and.

1 Comment:

Anonymous said...

Great testimonial for Le Creuset but they are not the only manufacturer who makes great enameled cast iron cook ware. Paderno, Color Cast and others produce superior products also with life time warranties and often at better prices. Be sure to shop online as well as the better retailer to find your skillet (can't say that I have seen and enameled one however)or sauce pan, dutch over or casserole. Great colors choices as well.

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