La Chamba 5 Quart Flat Casserole with Lid $130.95

Black clay tabletop items are a specialty of Colombia.

Used commonly throughout home and restaurant kitchens, sleek black clay casseroles and servers may look modern, but they trace their roots back at least 700 years: Pitchers and vases made of black clay have been unearthed in pre-Columbian archaeological sites. The unglazed clay pieces are ideal for traditional Colombian preparations like ajiaco, a soup, or slowly cooked beans, which are enriched and concentrated by the porous clay’s slow release of steam.

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This casserole can be used in the oven or microwave. Use on a stovetop will require additional equipment, such as heat diffusers of induction disks (not sold at Milk Street). The casserole should be brought up to the desired temperature gradually. Use wooden or silicone utensils when cooking to avoid scratching the interior of the casserole. Try it with our Ligurian Potato, Green Bean and Mushroom Gratin or Sweet Potato and Shallot Casserole with Fennel Seed.

Kitchen Notes

Hand-washing is recommended; allow the casserole to come to room temperature before washing or storing. Avoid abrasive or metal pads when washing, as well as citrus or strongly perfumed detergents, which may impart a flavor or scent to the clay.

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