A Perfect Last-minute Christmas Gift for Foodlovers
High-quality Swiss cookware is a world away from supermarket style non-stick pans and traditional French copper.
Photo courtesy of Kuhn Rikon.
I lived in France for many years, and swore by my French copper pans and Godin gas stove. On arrival in Switzerland, where many homes (at least ours) were long ago converted to convection cookers, I longed for my Godin and shiny copper pans, all shaped to meet the special purpose they were made for.
But since my philosophy in life is to “go local”, whether I’m in the Sahara or Geneva, Switzerland, I immediately started doing my research, and was more than pleasantly surprised at Swiss engineering and design skills when it comes to modern cookware. Their cookware is not only made to last a lifetime; it is made to conserve vitamins and is ecological.
So to get to the end of this long-winded tale, I would suggest the following gifts for any cook, whether gourmet or amateur. They will thank you every time they use it, and they will most likely use it every day for just about the rest of their lives.
Swiss Diamond Cookware
I already gave Swiss Diamond a rave review in my post of 12 June 2009, The perfect non-stick frying pan: Swiss Diamond. I haven’t changed my mind. Because they are made of thick, cast aluminium, they sear meat and fish like an old-fashioned iron skillet, but using less fat. The non-stick finish is unbeatable, practically unscratchable, because it really is made with minuscule diamond chips!
Kuhn Rikon Durotherm Pans
Kuhn Rikon Durotherm heavy-duty, double-walled pans allow you to steam vegetables, meat or fish with no fat and little water. The water turns to steam and recirculates inside the pan, thus allowing you to maintain the vitamins and eat fat-free. Thanks to the double wall, the pans maintain the heat for 2 hours after cooking, so it’s great for cooking up dishes before guests arrive.
Durotherm pans are good for one-dish meals and cooking vegetables on an everyday basis. They also cook vegetables more quickly than boiling in a normal saucepan, and vegetables are never water-logged. The steam recirculation method prevents the vitamins from “leaking out” into the water.
I often steam my vegetables in a Durotherm, and then at the end carefully lay a piece of fish on top of the vegetables, making sure no water touches it, and put the lid on and let it steam-cook. It takes about 5 minutes for an average-size piece of cod, for example.
The Glories of Swiss Engineering
available at many butcher shops.
OK, I’ll end this lengthy tale with a summary, praising the glories of Swiss engineering, which applies not only to bridges, tunnels, and roads, but also to cookware.
It is true that these pans require a greater investment than the lighter weight, supermarket versions, but in the long run, they work out to be much cheaper.
When you scratch a frying pan with a regular PTFE non-stick coating, many health experts advise throwing them away. All it takes is a nick with a metal knife or fork, and it’s ready for the bin. Swiss Diamond coatings are of a much hardier sort.
Durotherm pans are also energy-saving and water-saving. They come with a made-to-size serving base that allows you to set them right on the table, and they are attractive enough to do just that.
In addition, all these pans are made of a much heavier metal, so not only do they cook better, they do not bend out of shape when put on high heat. They really are long-term investments, thus making them ecological as well, since you don’t have to continuously renew your cookware and throw out the old ones.