The early homosapiens from the stone age used to eat raw food before the advent of fire. After the discovery of fire, they began to cook their food before eating. They gradually realized that allowing the food to be in direct contact with fire may result in it getting burnt that is the reason why they wrapped the foods items in leaves and tree barks before cooking. With the development of their eating habits and growth of their metabolism, human chose to use spices and condiments in their food, but to mix the food and condiments and cook everything properly; they needed a container where food can be prepared.
They say “necessity is the mother of invention.” Out of this necessity, a mother somewhere started spinning a wheel with clay shaped progressively over it. And that was how pottery came into the picture. The art of pottery is the earliest method of developing cookware. With increased needs and with an aim to fix drawbacks of the former cookware, advancements were brought about in the traditional containers giving birth to the various variety of cookware.
Humans also experienced many setbacks of specific cookware like the food getting burnt or an altered taste or worse contaminated with toxic materials. As a result, they considered it to be an essential task to invent an alternative. The civilization began with clay pottery, and today it has arrived at the stage of using induction cookware.
The Early Cookware
According to specific historical data, the earliest pottery was developed in China as far back as 24000 BC. Before this time, shells and animal bones were used to store food. Over time, Asians made use of bamboo tubes by sealing an end with clay for cooking purpose. The basic idea of manufacturing a proper container was developed during the early 7000 BC. Roasting baskets covered with a layer of clay were used by native Americans to serve the purpose of roasting pans. Cookware was covered with plant adhesive to make them water resistant.
Cast iron is said to be as old as pottery. Initially used as weapons in the Chinese wars during 513 BC, they were used as a better alternative for traditional cookware. Due to their high price, they were bought only by wealthy merchants in the beginning. However, because of an increase in their production, they were preferred widely later on. The three-legged cauldron made up of cast iron was often recognized as the heart of the kitchen.
Nowadays, cast iron is used as a skillet. Due to excellent heat conductivity and heat retention, it is used in various high-temperature places ranging from stovetop to the oven. The process of seasoning is of absolute importance to preserve the cookware manufactured using cast iron.
This material is brittle, cumbersome and, prone to rusting. Creating cookware out of it may lead to pollution and other issues. Hence, it was replaced by other metals and non-metals in the upcoming time.
Copper And Other Metals
As a solution to problems faced while using cast iron, various metals like copper, brass, and aluminum were used as cookware. Having discovered during the era of 9,000 BC, copper emerged to be highly opted metal for the purpose of cooking. Copper utensils coated with tin from the inner side were used to avoid toxicity. Drinking water from a copper vessel is said to be healthy for the immune system as they positively affect the blood vessels and bones of the human body.
Other types of metal cookware are preferred for their properties of durability, smoothness, low cost and simple cleaning and maintenance procedure.
Although they initiated with a great response, they were later opted out due to certain drawbacks. Placing copper in microwave proved to be of no use. Certain metals were also considered to be toxic.
Due to their elegant and authentic appearance, ceramic cookware is preferred all over the world. Pottery was eliminated due to their fragility. In order to substitute the presence of those containers, ceramic containers were brought into the picture. To summarize in a few sentences, ceramic cookware is the sister of pottery. The ancient concept was resurrected into something more durable and equally beautiful.
These types of cookware are 100% eco-friendly as well as non-toxic in nature. If maintained and cleaned properly, ceramic cookware can last for a longer time than expected. It is microwave friendly and bacteria resistant. Since they are smooth enough, large amount of oil isn’t required to cook making them a better alternative to prepare fatty, high calorie food.
In addition to this essential and highly popular cookware, there are many other types available in the market. Once upon a time, Teflon was widely used as cookware as well, but it had to face a sudden downfall making it obsolete. Nowadays, there has been an overall increase in the craze for non-stick cookware and a high demand for induction cookware. With people targeting beauty, durability as well as safety, it won’t be an exaggeration to say that the number of cookware type may reach up to the mark of thousands.