This 6-Generation French Factory Still Makes Ceramics From Scratch
If you’ve ever cleaned a lasagna pan, arms sore from brushing and brushing against the stubbornest of cheeses, you may have found yourself swearing you’d never in a million years make it again, no matter how many guests fawned over it. Perhaps that’s why, upon tasting the most stupendous lasagna I’ve ever eaten in my life—think bay leaf–scented Bolognese swaddled by Gruyère—the detail that captivated me was the casually handsome ceramic dish it was served in. At the end of the meal, the dark gray number from Emile Henry looked virtually unused, save for a streak or two of garlicky, still-warm oil. Very little cheese clung to its sides (more for us!).
When the Food52 team visited the Emile Henry headquarters in Marcigny, a 2000-population hamlet in France, we learned that it was not magic that did right by this lasagna, but Burgundy clay. The region’s mineral-rich limestone terroir—what makes its wines so famous—imparts unique properties to ceramics, too, particularly the astonishingly high heat tolerance of 930°F. Your broiler is a crisp autumn day for this trooper!
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