How This Cast-Iron Pot Has Become a Kitchen Staple

Le Creuset Casserole

This cast-iron pot has become as synonymous with French cooking as coq au vin.

Call it a Dutch oven, cocotte or casserole, the Le Creuset is the gold standard in cast-iron cookware and the secret behind everything from crusty sourdough bread to rich boeuf bourguignon thanks to its amazing heat retention and durability.

Superstar singer-songwriter Taylor Swift whips up her culinary delights in a cherry-red Cerise number, while screen legend Marilyn Monroe favoured sunny Elysees Yellow in the 1960s. Nigella Lawson is a fan of the pots and their range of colours, while Julia Child preferred the heritage brand’s classic hue, Volcanic, which was inspired by the fiery orange colour of molten iron being poured into moulds from a crucible – creuset in French.

Ideal for searing, simmering, braising and slow-cooking, the first of these weighty one-stop pots was created in 1925, after two Belgian industrialists – enamelling expert Octave Aubecq and casting whiz Armand Desaegher – met at the Brussels Fair. They came up with a new way to enamel cast iron, making it easy to clean and fairly non-stick, and set up a foundry in Fresnoy-le-Grand, north of Paris, where their cast-iron products are still hand-forged today.

The casseroles aren’t cheap – $360 to $1400, depending on the size and shape, from – but each comes with a lifetime guarantee. They are often cherished heirlooms passed down through the generations and have been known to score a mention in many a will. Life is short but Le Creuset casseroles, it seems, are forever

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