Long seen as the premium name in cast iron cookware for professional and amateur chefs, Le Creuset is a truly premium brand that most cooks covet and prefer. Whether it is because of the reputation for quality, the fun colours the cookware and tools bring to the kitchen, or the reliable results that can only come from superior materials, Le Creuset is one of the most trusted brands on the market.
Over time their product line has expanded tremendously and includes much more than the casseroles and Dutch ovens that built its reputation. A fan of Le Creuset can find every sort of cookware, including specialty pans or pieces for specific world cuisines. They make kettles and grill pans, bakeware, utensils and cutlery, and even textiles - all of which carry the solid reputation and quality by which the brand has become such a preferred name in kitchens around the globe.
Its name translates from the French to mean "the crucible". A crucible is defined best as a container that can take very high temperatures. This is most certainly true of any of the pieces available from Le Creuset, and this durability comes from their high quality craftsmanship.
It was in 1925 in the town of Fresnoy-Le-Grand, when two French casting and enamelling experts came together and decided that they could greatly enhance traditional cast iron cookware by coating it with a durable glaze.
They opened a foundry in a premium location for the receipt of the materials they needed to begin making their products, and in less than a year's time they produced their first Dutch oven. At the same time, they created the firm's signature, bold red colour known as "Flame" in order to demonstrate that they could, indeed, begin to offer colourful pieces that were also high functioning and durable.
They quickly expanded past just the one-size-fits-all Dutch oven, but production came to a standstill during World War II. And like so much of Europe, it took a bit of time for Le Creuset to get back up to speed during the post-war years. During this period, the company focused intensely on improving their cast iron as well as meeting changing consumer needs with more design oriented pieces.
However, the premium methodology for producing each cast iron piece has not changed, only gotten better. Today, sand moulds are made for each piece, and once it has been completed the moulds are destroyed. This ensures that each item is unique, and flawless. Each item is then inspected by hand to ensure that the enamel coating is flawless and that the product lives up to the Le Creuset name. In the end, every item is handled or reviewed by 15 artisans during production.
Because they have been so focused on quality, they have expanded widely and into other product lines. In the 1990s it was able to begin making stainless steel cook and bakeware, enamel on steel items, silicone pieces, forged hard-anodized aluminum items, and even textiles. All of the products retain the Le Creuset quality and yet can also reflect the needs of the cuisine they have been designed to produce. For instance, there are Moroccan tagine's in their product line, cast iron woks, and Indian karahi dishes among others.
The basic list of product lines available include:
A connoisseur's brand, the results from cooking and baking with Le Creuset items are usually far more successful than with lesser brands. Purchasing even a single piece is an investment in quality and long term results. At almost 100, the brand is going strong and garnering a wider audience each year. When you want a truly premium piece of cook or bakeware for your home (or as the perfect gift), look to the Le Creuset brand.
LeCreuset.com. Le Creuset Story. http://www.lecreuset.com//content_LCstory4_10151_-1_20002