Ever since I arrived in Italy almost 2 years ago, I had been cooking in the hub’s ONE saucepan, ONE frying pan, and ONE 2 liter pot. It drove me nuts especially when cooking Asian food, as it was so difficult frying rice, noodles etc without a wok. Soups were a pain too as I had to fit everything into the tiny 2 liter pot, and many a time I grumbled to the hubs about this.
Then, my unbeatable mum bought me a wok in Malaysia. Thing is, the wok was a Tefal Pyrex, and get this, it is made in Italy. 😀 So the made-in-Italy wok arrived in our Malaysian shores, was bought by a Malaysian woman for her daughter who so happens to live in Italy. I lugged that wok in my suitcase back to Italy by the way 😀 I think by now, most of you readers know how crazy I am when it comes to my food. It passed through the security checkpoint just fine and I stopped grumbling about the absence of a wok.
Then I noticed that our the hub’s 2 liter pot was rusting at the sides. Oh joy! Finally a great excuse reason to buy a new pot. I did all the reading one could do about pots and cookware, and I discovered the wonder of the Le Creuset. Le Creuset is a French brand known for its high quality cast iron cookware items and dates backs to 1925. The beauty of cooking with cast iron cookware is that it has excellent heat retention and is great for long-cooking stews and braised dishes. The most famous Le Creuset product range would have to be their Dutch oven/cocotttes which is basically a casserole with a tight/close fitting lid. Le Creuset produces their cookware in a range of colours, and I totally fell in love with the red range as my kitchen has a white and red theme. However, Le Creuset’s signature colour would be Flame (orange). There is a lifetime warranty on Le Creuset too, so if any defects were to appear on your pot that is not caused by misuse, Le Creuset would replace your pot, free of charge.
I was lucky enough to discover that the only Le Creuset store in Italy was a mere 45 minute drive from my house 🙂 So I announced to the HB that we’re getting some new cookware as I was tired of cooking and entertaining with such miserable and tiny cookware. So off we went to the outlet store in Fidenza Outlet Mall. And boy oh boy was I lucky, as the red range was on 20% discount! After much deliberation and suggestion by the very nice French lady there, I decided on the 29cm (4.7 liter/ 5 quart) Oval Casserole in Red. The lady then told me that sadly, the shop will be closing down for good in a couple of weeks time and there would probably be another sale during that period.
I tried a Bolognese pork loin recipe to inaugurate my new pot, and I loved the result. The meat was tender and moist, and I could not have achieved those results with my regular pot. I am going to try another recipe soon with my pot in the oven. Yes, you can even use the pot in the oven till a maximum temperature of 190 degrees celcius. So technically, one can actually bake breads and cakes in there too 🙂
So after a few weeks, I phoned the nice saleslady at Le Creuset and she told me that everything in the shop was at a 30% discount, and there would probably be a further markdown that very weekend to mark the first day of sales in Italy. I got as excited as heck and charmed persuaded the hubs to make another trip there. When we got there, the lady said that her boss had decided to keep prices as they were at a 30% discount, and so, there was no further reduction in price. Oh, but it was ok with me. I had gotten my eye on a nice saucepan the first time we were there, and this time around, it was all sold out 😦 So I didn’t get that. There was a Brazilian lady in there the same time we were, and boy, she was snapping up just about everything. I got a little nervous that she would snap up what I wanted (stock was low as everything was being cleared out), that I decided pretty quickly on what I wanted minus the dawdling about. I picked a 20 cm Round Casserole in Flame. I chose Flame coz after all, it is their signature colour. Kinda like how people buy a Louis Vuitton Speedy coz it’s a must have. 😛 I digress. So this is a slightly smaller/regular sized pot compared to my bigger oval one, perfect for 2-3 portions. Seeing the Brazilian lady snapping up the items off the shelf made me feel like I should get something else too 😛 and so I chose a Rectangular 32cm grill in black, as it was the only colour they had left. Looks like I will be grilling more often now 🙂 I’m gonna call up the store a few days before they close for good and *hope* that perhaps there’s gonna be a further discount going on. I was told by a friend that a Le Creuset pot in Malaysia is in the four digit range in Ringgit, so I am thankful that I can buy it for less than half the price here at the outlet store.
I used to snicker at the thought of “changing” with age, but here I am, blogging about freaking pots and cookware. My Jimmy Choos have been relegated to the back of my closet, and I hardly bat an eye at the mention of Louis Vuitton anymore. But look at me salivating over pots. Just like how my mum was Tupperware crazy. Ageing does weird things to one, I tell ya.