is a staple in the Delish test kitchen. You've probably seen the colorful pots and pans in a lot of our The iconic cookware is celebrated the world over — and for good reason. Here's a look at what makes Le Creuset cookware so special.. But we're not the only fans:
1. DON'T CALL IT A DUTCH OVEN.
There's a difference: Dutch ovens were invented by the Pennsylvania Dutch in the 1700s. They were large cast-iron pots with fitted lids. The French tried to riff on them by adding enamel coating, but their new name (the ever-original French oven) didn't stick. Nevertheless, that is the proper name for your Le Creuset piece.
2. THE SIGNATURE COLOR HAS HIDDEN IMPORTANCE.
The brand's casting specialist Armand Desaegher and enameling specialist Octave Aubecq settled on a bright orange color for their first enameled oven in 1925 and named it Flame. They were inspired by the bright glow of molten cast-iron. Even the factory in Fresnoy-le-Grand, France, is painted the classic orange hue.
3. MARILYN MONROE WAS A HUGE FAN.
The blonde bombshell was an avid cook and owned a 12-piece set of Le Creuset cookware in Elysees Yellow, a color that's since been discontinued. It was auctioned for a whopping $25,330 in New York in 1999.
4. NO TWO PIECES ARE EXACTLY THE SAME.
Each piece of cookware is cast from a fresh sand mold that's broken back down into sand after its use. The cast pieces are then smoothed by hand and enameled. And that's the simplified version: The process can take at least 10 hours and actually entails 12 different steps.
5. THE COOKWARE IS MORE VERSATILE THAN YOU THINK.
You knew you could make a stew or cook a whole chicken in the classic French ovens, but you can also bake bread, braise meat, cook a casserole, and deep fry whatever the heck your heart desires in the classic piece.
6. LE CREUSET HAS A STRICT NO-FLAW POLICY.
Each pot is inspected by 15 different people before it's deemed suitable for sale. Around 30 percent of the company's goods are rejected because of imperfections. Often, they're melted back down and, the iron is recycled to create new (flawless) products.
7. YOU CAN GET THE BEST DEALS AT LE CREUSET OUTLET STORES.
There are more than across the country that sell first-quality productions (ones in colors or shapes that may be discontinued) and second-quality items. The latter have minor imperfections that don't affect how they cook food but require them to be sold at a lower price.
8. ENAMELED CAST-IRON COOKWARE ISN'T THE ONLY THING THE COMPANY CAN MAKE.
It may be the most popular, but you can also get Le Creuset stainless steel, silicone, and stoneware products.
9. POPULAR COLORS VARY BY COUNTRY.
Currently, Le Creuset has created about 100 colors, but the favorites are different depending on where you live. Americans opt for primary hues, Germans love Mediterranean blues and Japanese chefs pick pastels. French cooks go crazy for — what else? — the iconic Flame hue, which is called Volcanique in Le Creuset's home country.
10. LE CREUSET'S FACTORY WORKERS STAY BUSY.
The company turned 90 in 2015, and at that time, they'd created more than 300 million products for more than 60 different countries.
11. THE COMPANY IS KNOWN FOR ITS WHIMSICAL LIMITED EDITIONS.
They've produced heart and flower-shaped pots in the past and cherry blossom-covered cookware in Japan. Le Creuset made Disney fans' wildest dreams come true with apainted with red roses to celebrate the release of the live-action movie.