[Sca-cooks] Cast Iron Cookware was Bronze Cookware

wheezul at canby.com wheezul at canby.com
Sat Aug 28 14:40:47 PDT 2010

> They may do bronze ware but they do so with this warning
> Only use cast-iron if you're going to consume the food you make; if
> you're demonstrating then Bronze is fine.
> Johnna

Hi Johnna,

I'm glad you brought up cast iron because I was on the verge of asking a
question about it anyway!  I've been trying to get my hands on anything to
do with kitchen equipment in Germany in the 16th century.  I've had some
success, but most of my on-line references are saying that cast iron is
just not period to the 16th century in Europe or quite rare.  I've been
looking over period German inventories, and while iron pots/pans are
listed, it doesn't specify anything further than their material of
manufacture.  Most kitchens had a majority of copper pans from my still
nascent survey.

Because I was interested in the period English equivalent names, I checked
out "Iron and Brass Implements of the English and American House", by J.
Seymour Lindsay.  The first edition was published in 1927, so it makes
this old scholarship, but it seems to clearly indicate that cast iron
cauldrons are at least datable to the 15th century:

"A small fifteenth-century bronze water vessel showing Flemish influence
(Fig. 116) is suspended by an iron handle, the liquid being drawn off
through either of the two spouts.  Cast-iron cauldrons of this and the
following century (Frg. 113 to 115) are similar in form to the bronze
vessels.  As the cast-iron industry expanded they were made in large
quantities for farmhouses and cottage use, and continued to be an
indispensable utensil in all kitchens with down-hearths and open grates." 
 The line drawings of figures 113-115 indicate that these examples are in
the National Museum of Antiquities, Edinburgh.

Might anyone here have a more modern take on the subject?  Thank you all
for being such a go-to kind of group!


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