I love cooking beans in my Black Chamba pot.
The flavor is deeper than when they’re simmered in metal or even in enameled cast iron. The beans come out rich and buttery and even a little smoky.
I’ve also used my pot for Bolognese sauce (it’s perfect for anything you want to cook slowly) and countless soups. Its curved shape keeps everything snug inside, preventing rapid evaporation. It’s stovetop and oven safe, heats and cooks evenly and gets plenty hot enough for sautéing. The Black Chamba serving ware was reviewed here in 2004, but the clay’s virtue as a cooking material definitely deserves a mention. I took a field trip to the Nuestra Terra shop in Half Moon Bay to buy mine, but you can get them online from Nuestra Terra or at Chacara.
It’s fun owning this pot because it’s a fairly affordable hand-made item, not a mass produced commodity. They’re shaped by hand in Columbia using techniques and materials dating back around 700 years. Before you use your pot you must cure it in a low oven three-quarters full of water. To wash, simply rinse with hot water and wipe clean with a sponge. Hand or air dry. Not dishwasher safe. Mine was $49 in the store, but there are many different sizes, shapes and prices to choose from.
• Nuestra Terra
• La Vida Verde