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Clay pot lust

October 9, 2008 |  2:32 pm

A recent e-mail brought the latest newsletter from L’Atelier Vert — Everything French Gardening, a website from American expat Barbara Wilde, who lives and gardens in France. An author for Rodale Press, Wilde also sells gardening tools and French kitchen items on her site, including some beautiful clay pots, such as a daubière from Provence (for making daubes or stews), and marbled clay gratin dishes. Evidently, Paula Wolfert lusts after some of those traditional clay pots too.Paulawolfert_3

In Wilde’s most recent Paris Postcard, she recounts the start of her long-distance friendship with the author of "Good Food From Morocco" and other cookbooks, when Wolfert wrote to ask a question about a pot she had purchased online.

This summer, the two of them met up for the first time for a short, impromptu tour of the French potters who make clay cookware. It makes for a lovely read. One of the spots they visit is Cliousclat, a tiny pottery village where ceramics have been made since the beginning of the 18th century. I treasure the one bowl I have from Cliousclat and won't let anybody else wash it after dinner.

— S. Irene Virbila

Photo of Paula Wolfert in her kitchen with her collection of clay pots by Myung J. Chun/ Los Angeles Times