Au gratin dishes come in a lovely variety of shapes and sizes just begging to be shown off at the dinner table. This is only natural - a gratin is meant to be cooked and served in the same dish.
There are a number of well known manufacturuers of French ceramic cookware. Most of these companies have been in business for many years, and when you buy one of their products, you are paying in part for their incredible experience.
It seems that this French cookware company has taken the world by storm. You can find their products in stores across the globe. All Emile Henry ceramics are made from Burgundy clay, which comes from the same soil that makes world famous Burgundy wines. So they are a real slice of France.
The company has been in business for over 150 years and they really do strive to create quality kitchenware. They offer an incredible range of colors, sizes and shapes of ceramic bakeware. Perhaps a bit pricey, but you are paying for all that experience.
Another highly reputed and long standing French cookware company, Le Creuset makes two sorts of au gratin dishes. One sort, which is quite expensive, is made from enameled cast iron. These are incredible products - made to last a lifetime. Cast iron holds heat like no other material, assuring you even cooking and that your dish will stay hot throughout the dinner hour.
Le Creuset also makes stoneware au gratin dishes. These are much more ordinary and not nearly as expensive. They come in a number of sizes and colors, including their signature "flame" orange.
Pillyvuht is a French company located close to the center of France that has been around for several centuries. Most of their au gratin dishes are made from white porcelain. They feature some lovely shapes and occasionally a touch of whimsy like the dish above with the restaurant menu printed on the side.
Porcelaine is thinner than some bakeware, which means it heats quickly, but of course it will cool down quickly as well. The very smooth surface on these dishes means they are easy to clean.
No newcomers themselves, Revol is another French porcelaine manufacturer. This company originated in the Rhone Valley in the south of France.
In addition to many traditional dishes, Revol has some wonderfully fresh bakeware designs. If you are looking for something a little different, they are a good place to start.
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