I have long wanted a Dutch oven to the point of crippling indecision.  Le Creuset or Staub?  Le Creuset is classic, but with Staub, I can potentially make the No-Knead Bread because it has a screwpull that can take a 500 degree oven.  Or what about the elusive Chef’s Mate from Target which was top rated by Cook’s Illustrated?  Sometimes the decision is made for you when opportunity knocks.

The score of the summer is a ten piece set of Le Creuset cookware from the flea market – a 4 1/2 quart Dutch oven, a 2 quart Dutch oven, two 6 cup saucepans, and a 4 cup saucepan – all in 70s station wagon brown.  A total impulse buy that I couldn’t even carry home without the aid of a borrowed stroller.  Curious about their history with its retro color and bulbous fondue pot-like handle, I snooped around on the interweb for information, which started to put doubt in my mind about the authenticity of the pieces.  The two larger pieces had “LC”, instead of “Le Creuset” on the bottom, a ridged bottom, and no enamel on the rims.  Only one piece had a diamond stamped on the bottom.  Were these factory seconds?  Fakes?  Did I get what I paid for which was not much?


To put my mind at ease, I contacted Le Creuset who got back to me in less than a day.  Indeed they were genuine, the stamps ranged over the years, and the brown has been discontinued for about 12 years.  After using these solid pieces compared to my flimsy Ikeaware, I’m sold, not hoodwinked.  No regrets and no looking back, I still have room – at least in my heart – for the big ass oval Staub.

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