The pottery from La Chamba, Colombia requires
very limited initial preparation before normal usage. The first
time you will want to clean your pot in water with a light non-abrasive
sponge to remove any dirt or residue left from the firing process.
At this point you could choose to start using your pot immediately
on your stove, oven or microwave. If you want to take some extra
step preparing your vessel or dinnerware here are some methods
that have been used for centuries to treat clay cookware.
Some porous clay pottery requires or can
benefit from being filled with water approx 3/4 full and placed
in a 400 degree Fahrenheit over for 30 min. La Chamba usually
does not need this step, particularly if you purchase a finer
quality vessel like this one, but if you have a pot from a village
market and you were not aware of the step and care taken in the
preparation you might feel more comfortable doing the water heated
process first before regular daily use. Some international clay
manufactures recommend milk in place of water to seal your clay
pot. This again is an extra step that does not seem to be necessary
for top quality La Chamba.
Regular use of your pot will naturally
develop a well seasoned cooking surface. Using wooden utensils
verses un-coated metal utensils will also help protect your cookware.
With proper handling you can use your Chamba
pot or dinnerware directly on the stove, in a microwave, on a
grill and in the oven.
Like any cooking surface, these clay pots
should not be exposed to excessive temperature changes. If your
pot is very cold from the refrigerator you should not pour in
boiling liquids. If your pot is very hot you should not put in
ice cold liquids. The idea is to avoid extreme thermal stress.
Clay pots are very practical for daily
cooking. They can be filled with cold liquids and be heated over
a strong heat without a problem. The clay will also hold heat
well. If your food is boiling, your dish may continue to boil
for a while after you remove it from the heat, so use caution
when moving your vessel. The advantage of your lidded clay pot
retain a nice level of heat is that your food can stay nicely
warm at the table for upward of an hour.
Ancestral Chamba Cookware is very easy
to clean. Just scrub a little, rinse and dry. Since the clay
is porous we do not recommend using detergents, particularly
at first, before the pot is cured. If you have stubborn food
on your pot just soak an half an hour. The food should be easy
to remove with a non abrasive sponge. Repeat if necessary. Boil
some water in really hard to clean vessels. There are very good
non abrasive, bacteria resistant scrubbers on the market. Metal
scouring pads will scratch and are too abrasive for the hand
burnished surface of your vessel.
You can clean you La Chamba in the dishwasher
even though it is not recommended. The dish washing soap can
remain in the porous clay and it can reduce the luster and natural
seasonings of your piece.
Clay is a natural surface, not a non-stick
surface. With time your vessel, with care, will develop a very
lovely cooking surface where only limited use of oils or cooking
sprays will seem necessary.
You should always dry your La Chamba cookware
well before storing. In very humid climates you will want to
take special care to make sure your clay gets properly dried
so mold spores will not develop. Proper washing and drying and
prevent this from happening. You can air dry your pieces or to
quickly dry place your La Chamba pieces directly on low heat
to remove the excess moisture and allow to cool. Many cooks like
to place their pieces in a warm oven for 10 min.
Enjoying your La Chamba:
For some outstanding La Chamba recipes
BUY LA CHAMBA COOKWARE