Well, I’ve a bit of a treat for you today, if you like non-stick coatings but want a finish which is inert and is pretty proof against most forms of unintentional user abuse, then read on
Preamble, a tale full of problems but of almost no consequence…
But first I have a bone to pick with a friend of mine called Tim. Tim writes a weekly blog called “Word of the Week” which is a well observed view on a particular aspect of the world we live in, tied into a “the Word of the Week” and can be funny, sometimes hysterically so.
I’ve been asking him to stretch a point, for more years than I can remember, to write a piece on the very, very short phrase (as opposed to a word) “No Problem” which irritates the hell out of me, when used inappropriately or unthinkingly, in rather the same way that some, pepper their sentences with the word “like” throughout, as some sort of filler.
Returning to the object of my ire, why is it that, when I thank someone for doing something, they say “no problem”. I hadn’t imagined it was a problem in the first place. Usually there’s no reason to believe that it might be a problem. Very often its part of their job for heaven’s sake, But nonetheless, out trots this now well-worn thoughtless phrase, parrot fashion, mechanically and unthinking….. “no problem!”.
Back to my friend and his witty column. I’ve so far completely and utterly failed to make a dent in his resolve to stick to one word, which of course is ridiculous. Tim, I fear is a purist, a traditional-ist an orthodox-ist, a perfection-ist, and a conform-ist. “Conformist”, he’ll really hate that label, and with some justification, but now is not a time to be fair to him. No, now is the time for revenge. Why, you might ask?
Well, bearing in mind my polite requests, repeated many times over the last ten years or so, put yourself in my place, when last Friday afternoon I received, as I always do, “Word of the Week” in my inbox. The Title of which was “Climate Change”. Yes, two words! I was flabbergasted, stunned, shocked, and outraged. Is there now one rule for Tim, I thought to myself, and another for the rest of the world. He claims to be an educated man, but he had actually misspelt it “Climatechange”. Probably to suit his own ends, or so I thought. Without even reading a word of it, I sent off a pithy reply, demanding satisfaction! To which I got back “I knew you’d be cross! Haha!”.
Indignant, I then proceeded to read his blog on “Climatechange”. And this is what he’d written in the first paragraph.
“This is going to really rile my friend Andrew, who’s been trying to persuade me to include hyphenated words and his own pet hate ‘no problem’ for years. I’ve had to point out to him repeatedly that it’s called Word of the Week, not Words of the Week. And yet what is this word ‘Climatechange’…………(read more here)
So, as it turns out, he was setting me up all along, and unhappily I have to admit he got me (riled up). And actually, putting my indignation to one side for a moment, you may well be amused by the rest of the article, which you can click on above. I was.
Stop Press: He has just sent me an email asking me to “cease my persistent canvassing on behalf of other such aberrations”. This may turn out to be “a problem” that we’ll have to sort out over a pint at the Black Horse.
So having had my wee rant I suppose it’s time to move onto product…. slightly reluctantly, as the score is currently one nil in Tim’s favour…I don’t think of myself as particularly competitive, but that will never do!
GreenPan Barcelona - “In”, GreenPan Venice Pro - “Out”
GreenPan were the first company in this country (possibly in the world?), to bring out a ceramic based nonstick coating. Up until that point all nonstick coatings had been plastic based materials, (Per- and Polyfluorinated Substances known as PFAS) which, in the early days, contained nasty chemicals (far less so now). Thirty years ago this coating barely lasted five minutes, so a PFAS -free coating, based on Silica (sand) that was really pretty proof against mechanical abrasion, was a first, and seemed to be a little too good to be true.
Well, mechanically it’s been proved to be very tough. Excess heat though does takes its toll on its level of non-stickability.*
We first got wind of it in 2009 and have been selling it, in various incarnations, ever since. In its context, I like the product, and I say that as someone not hugely in love with nonstick coatings, believing them to be largely unnecessary**, hence my context comment.
There is a place for nonstick pans though, scrambled eggs and certain fish, come immediately to mind. But their presence can reduce the flavour that you can achieve, because in an uncoated pan, the food initially sticks and will caramelise nicely (i.e. brown, not burn) if you know what you’re doing. This is difficult to achieve in nonstick as the food not only does not stick it also moves around in the pan, and this reduces the caramelising effect. So, as caramelising adds flavour, it is a downside to all nonstick coatings.
Market demands, however, are such that less than 10% of our sales are uncoated pans, so unless you are prepared to experiment (i.e. burn and possibly spoil food whilst you’re learning) then GreenPan have a very “green” approach to manufacturing and their coatings are PFAS free and pretty well inert.
So there’s a lot going for them.
After many years of selling one their top ranges, “Venice Pro”, they have decided to discontinue it and have replaced it with new range called “Barcelona”.
This range has their latest:
1. Thermolon Coating, an inert silica / ceramic based coating***
2. Stay Cool (Cast Stainless Steel) handles.
3. Magneto magnetic base that works on induction hobs.
4. Barcelona is suitable for all hobs in fact including Aga, Induction, Gas and Ceramic Electric hobs.
5. A 5mm thick body that spreads the heat fast and evenly.
So, all round, an excellent product in its class. If you are on a restricted budget, I can still recommend Dexam Supreme frying pans or Netherton, if you appreciate spun iron pans without a coating. For those of you who can’t do without the ‘best of the best’, you should look at Demeyere, still technically just the best pans money can buy. Looking for quality but also value for money, consider the excellent Le Creuset pans we have on offer, including my “most bang for your buck” favourite, the Le Creuset 28cm Uncoated Frying Pan.
*When GreenPan’s Thermolon coating is overheated it does lose some of its nonstick qualities. For example, you can no longer easily fry an egg without oil in it. I would still class it as nonstick, but just not quite so…
** Not needing nonstick coatings is a personal view born out of my experience of cooking over the years, but is not for everyone, and perhaps especially so if you are in a hurry?
*** Made from a sand derivative, it does not require the use of toxic chemicals like PFOA or PFAS during production, making it safer for both consumers and the environment. The coating is also heat resistant up to high temperatures, ensuring that it won't blister or release toxic fumes even if the pan is accidentally overheated.
This weekend you may buy one piece at 20% off and two or more at 25% discount.
Please use tell us who you are if coming into the shops or if shopping on our website, the discount will appear automatically in your basket.
Speaking of coming into the shops. If you do, in Reigate we have a number of heavily discounted electricals, which have some superficial marks on them; and in Cobham, the “Sale Section” includes similar Le Creuset items. Unfortunately, we can’t sell these online, so they are only available locally.
I hope you have a pleasant and peaceful weekend.