Based on evidence, clay pot cooking is an ancient cooking technique using an unglazed clay pot which has been submerged in water for a few minutes for clay to absorb water which will be released as steam through the cooking process. The earthenware pot with food inside will be put in glowing coals in an open fire, and the steam circulating inside the clay pot forces the food to loosen moisture creating a tender, flavorful and nutrient-filled dish. This technique has led to the popularity of cooking food using earthenware or stoneware particularly in Europe and Southeast Asia beginning the tradition of a clay pot in every Italian and Asian household.
According to a prominent Greek historian Herodotus, the Etruscans were the first to create and use terracotta pots for food particularly to store water, olive oil and wine. Etruscans were migrants from Lydia in Asia Minor who coincidentally reached Italy following a famine in Lydia more than a hundred years ago. Being hard-working people, pottery was part of their artistic skills. They possess the spirit of patience and determination to long hours of work, humbleness and pride to what they do, and steadfast dedication in fighting the forces of nature.
The Etruscan potters carefully design earthenware cooking pots with lids to purposely enhance flavors in food and to speed up cooking. Proven nature-loving people and first terracotta users, Etruscans enjoyed wine which they stored in large amphorae or terracotta jars to cool before serving. They studied the color and fragrance of the wine to get its full enjoyment using the jars. With the short Etruscan period, their appreciation of good life expressed at the dinner table has been preserved by its people. To this day, the richness of this tradition is evident with how Italians continue to appreciate and nurture good living and good food.
A living statement of this great heritage is the Piral terracotta clay pot artistry known to be 140 years old. Piral, is one of the earliest Italian manufacturers of terracotta or “baked earth” cookware formed in different shapes and sizes. It has its home in a small sea town named Albisola, in the Liguria region of Italy. The 1870 Piral Terracotta Collection is an exquisite combination of ancient tradition with the benefit of today’s technology, a novelty considered to be the most sought-after “green” alternative of a cookware that is made of only the best raw materials without using harmful by-products. The pots are highly-practical for its less energy requirement due to the terracotta’s superior heat conductivity.
Piral terracotta from Terra Allegra Imports are glazed in wonderful radiant colors, except for the bottom. Like any other clay cooking pot, it should be soaked in water in the right order prior to using. Italians have used this terracotta technique for many years beginning in a fireplace or in an outdoor oven, wood-fueled stoves to stove-tops to modern ovens and microwaves today.
Italian-made Piral cookware is dishwasher-safe and easy to clean in its beautiful clean glass-like cooking surface. It is multi-purpose and light weight with non-metal characteristic ensuing better flavors. If you look at this terracotta history, you will realize that our terracotta today is a specialty of nature, country cooking and traditional recipes primarily from the Italian Renaissance.