JOANNA'S FOOD: family cooking, from scratch, every day

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Cooking pulses: earthenware or metal?

In the Observer today, Simon Hopkinson the chef/food writer says that you should cook pulses only in earthenware, never metal "unless you have absolutely nothing else". He doesn't say why, which makes me wonder if it's just a tradition or superstition.

If I'm not using tinned, I always soak beans in a glass bowl, then cook them in a stainless steel pan. They taste fine. Would they taste better if I cooked them in earthenware? I'd really like to know what you think, and what you do - and whether you think it makes any difference?


Ilva said...

Here in Tuscany (might be the same all over Italy) you are supposed to cook legumes in terracotta pots, the reason as far I have understood is that the heat gets distributed in a more all over way and you can slow cook them better!

Karin said...

Cooking in earthenware imparts a special taste to food because of the natural properties of clay which includes its slow cooking characteristics. Such taste and flavor is not possible in ordinary metal utensils.

I have got cast iron pots and cast iron frying pans which I often use. They are much better than metal pots or saucepans, I think.

Joanna said...

Thank you, ladies, I bow to your superior knowledge - which gives me a good excuse to go shopping!

Little Foodie said...

I cook them in both but I think they're better in terracotta, they're softer, what Ilva and Karin said makes sense. I'd get yourself a cheap flight to Spain. V.good rates in to Girona at the moment. Nice break and very near is Las Bisbal where you can buy loads of terracotta pots at a fraction of the cost you'd pay for them here. Great excuse to go shopping and get away.
We didn't have the food fight (it was cold and rainy). But we will! Amanda