What is La Chamba cookware? It’s a line of black clay pots, bowls, and other cookware made in Colombia using traditional methods. All the pottery is made in the village of La Chamba, and it is made from natural clay mined in the area. Each piece is handmade, and burnished with stones for a smooth finish. They are not glazed; the black color comes from the way they are fired in the kiln.
This clay construction may appear more delicate than traditional metal pots and pans, but it’s quite resilient. It can be used on the stovetop and in the oven. The only caution is that you need to avoid rapid changes in temperature; don’t heat a pot over the stove, then run it under cold water, for instance.
These Chamba pieces are not glazed so there is no lead in the clay. There are also no toxins used in the production of La Chamba cookware and dishes.
Its origins can be traced back at least 700 years to vases and pitchers found in pre-Columbian archaeological sites. It is still made in the traditional manner, by families in the village of La Chamba, on the banks of the Magdalena River in Central Colombia. Each piece is hand-crafted using local clays, burnished by hand and fired on-site. The painstaking process and natural materials give the dishes an authentic, distinctive and elegant look, yet Chamba is strong enough to use on the stove top, oven or microwave. Chamba cookware heats evenly and is renowned for retaining heat.
There are no toxins used in the production of La Chamba dishes. The pieces are not glazed and there is no lead found in the clay. The black color comes from the firing process and the smooth finish of the pieces is the result of painstaking hand-burnishing with stones.
After it has been seasoned, Chamba cookware cleans easily. A quick soak and wipe down with a sponge or soft cloth is all you need to clean it. Cleaning in the dishwasher or use of abrasive cleaners is not recommended, nor should you soak your Chamba for long periods of time.