Whose Idea Was This, Anyway?
Our Story: we started Brooklyn Copper Cookware on the heels of two events. The first a revelation, the second the answer to a simple question.
Sustainability: The Best is Forever.
The first occurred in the mountains of Portugal, over the hamlet of Sintra, a village favored by Lisboans for daytrips and which Lord Byron immortalized in his writings as “the most beautiful in the world.” After approaching through a splendid National Park and well-preserved formal garden we alighted at the Pena Palace, a fairy-tale confection spread over a mountain top and overlooking the village. Indulgent does not begin to describe the appointments, but what stopped us for a long spell was the kitchen.
Much of the copper cookware collection there had been made on the premises over the course of four centuries. The docent commented that the copper pots and pans, rather than preserved as museum pieces, were still used occasionally for festivals and demonstration, even in films, and were easily maintained much as the oldest among them (~500 years) had been over time. “The story about them is still being written,” she allowed.
The take-away: Copper cookware last forever. Pretty much. It was time to get some. That was several years ago.
Love, love. Win-win.
You see, we love to cook and we love to eat what we cook. We have a small (“one-ass”) Brooklyn kitchen, so cooking usually heats the place up. Upon picking up my first pieces I read that copper cookware is very “thermally efficient” (uses much less energy). Well, to me using less energy was just bonus points because I already loved how much better I could do all my old tricks. And friends loved the results. And I love compliments on my cooking. Win-win.
For our 20th wedding anniversary in ’08, my wife and I ran up to Maine and PEI for a celebratory vacation. We’d not had a vacation since Portugal, and as we looked out from Camden over coffee and the sunrise on Penobscot Bay she put to me pointedly “Give me the three things you’re going to do in the next twenty years.” I could only think of two, one of which was “cooking.”
I thought about that for the rest of the trip as we tucked into lobster on Mount Desert Island, clams and early corn in Calais, Moule Frites in Charlottetown, and blueberries pretty much with everything. No restaurant, no cookbook, but something to do with cooking…
“Copper pots are the most satisfactory of all to cook in, as they hold and spread the heat well and their tin lining does not discolor food….. To get the full benefit of cooking in copper, the metal must be 1/8 inch thick, and the handle should be of heavy iron.”
Julia Child, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, 1961