We associate hand crafted copper ware for the kitchen with France, definitely not with the little isle of Tasmania. I bought my first Tasmania made copper frying pan many years ago at a food wholesaler in Brisbane and was surprised to learn at the time that it was made in Tasmania. It has been re-tinned once already as I get so much use from it and now it is lining up for yet another tinning.
I looked through my old records to see who made it as it does not have a hallmark anywhere on the pan and discovered they are on the web and known as Lara Copper.
So I was able to see exactly where they are located in Tasmania and that they work out of Launceston. The product range is much wider than I thought and they even make special equipment that people commission privately. Copper in the kitchen cannot be beaten for its looks, it immediately says to anyone, ‘this kitchen is run by an avid cook’. However there are strict rules for owners of these wonderful pots, look after them carefully and do not scrape the inside base with metal implements. The hardest part is keeping the outside looking bright. But once you have a copper pot you have it for life.
The handle on the lid on my French pot below gets so hot that I adopted a French trick – to put two corks under the handle but I can see with Ludwig’s version he has put the D handle on a plate of the same iron so it is less likely to heat up as hot and burn my fingers like my French one does. Ludwig says he will re-tin copper other than his own so this one is about to be despatched to him.
When I have all my fruit trees in Tasmania established I will be getting one of Lara’s special jam funnels. Before you think Lara is the name of the maker or his wife, the maker’s name is Ludwig. I am yet to learn who Lara is. Details on how the jam funnel looks and works are on the website link I have included at the top.
On further reading of Ludwig’s Lara Copper website, I see that they also make other unusual items on request. I like the look of the covered wok/paella pan. It also reminds me of the Portuguese Cataplana, it is something that can also go straight to the table, that is if you are keeping up your polishing skills.
I was watching a reality TV programme where people signed up to live in a grand house and take on the roles of the inhabitants from the past. It followed the characters from both the class divide of Upstairs and Downstairs. The cook used a lemon and salt solution he kept in a bucket under the sink to clean copper, apparently they did this in the old days but Ludwig says that lemon leaches into the copper.
So I wonder now whether that is a good idea or not. He recommends Amway Metal Cleaner, Brasso or Never Dull).
So in the interest of supporting artisans who actually make beautiful products and in particular those in Tasmania do look at his site. And Ludwig gave me permission to use some of his images. Roz