Sunday, April 3, 2016

Ancient No-Stick Pans

Fragment of non-stick cookware from Cumae
(article:  Discovery News: Photo:  Marco Giglio)
From at least half-a-dozen recent news articles come reports of an archaeological discovery of a factory, in ancient Cumae, that made red ceramic pans with a stick-resistant glaze during the Roman empire.  You can read one of the better articles on the subject here

The article mentions in passing that a first century CE cooking text, De Re Coquinaria, states that a Cumean no-stick pan was the best pan to use for making chicken stews.  

What I would like to see is an experiment to attempt to make pans with the Cumae stick-resistant glaze, and then use those pans in cooking over an open fire to see how the surface actually behaves. Hopefully such an experiment will be performed eventually, though it will certainly not happen overnight.  Aside from providing us with information about ancient ceramic and cooking technology, the experiment might lead to the development of products we can use today to replace substances like Teflon, whose safety has become suspect in the eyes of many people.

EDIT:  So far as I can tell, this article is NOT an April Fool's joke.  The dates on the articles I've seen on this find range from March 28 to April 2, and none of them appear to have an April 1 date.

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