Clay olla

Clay olla


The women of San Marcos Tlapazola in southern Mexico use clay from their surrounding fields to make their utilitarian, beautiful vessels. The pottery is made on a crude wheel with pieces of coconut shell or dried gourd to shape the clay. Finally, the clay is wood-fired.

Safe for food. Unglazed. 

Size: 11' wide x 8.5" tall

Care: Hand wash

Instructions for cooking in a clay pot by Rancho Gordo—an excellent place to buy your beans!

The texture and patina of the piece will change over time. Exposure to heat, fire and food will only make it more beautiful. Even better, cooking beans in clay is almost magical. The slow, even heat and natural clay are considered the best way to cook beans. Ask a grandmother and she'll agree. 

The pots aren't perfect and aren't intended to be. Once you start cooking with clay, you may find you have a happy new addiction. They have a rustic charm and the wisdom of the ages behind them, but they shouldn't be washed in a machine and they will keep changing over the years. 

No curing or preparation is needed. While they are clay and susceptible to breakage when dropped, the real danger is placing a hot pot on a cold surface (or vice versa) or adding too cold a liquid to a boiling pot. 

When cooking, start with a low flame and gently raise the heat as needed. Cook directly over a gas flame. Many people successfully use the pot on an electric range but we recommend gas. You can also use the pieces when you barbecue. They only look better the more you use them. 

Wash with warm water and if needed, a gentle dish washing liquid. 

Because the clay is porous and there's no glaze, it's best not to use a dishwas

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