FIRE and MAN
Since the beginning of time when a lightning bolt struck a tree which caught on fire; Mankind has tasted and experienced the wonderful sensation of roasting meat, which completely changed the flavor and delighted his senses with the aroma of roasted and cooked food.
Professor Richard Wrangham of Harvard thinks we might have been using fire routinely not just 50,000 or 400,000 years ago, but two million years ago. In his book Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human, he argues that it was the act of cooking that transformed our ancestors from ape-like creatures into the large-brained Homo erectus, for the simple reason that cooking makes it easier to extract energy and nutrition from our meals. Ultimately allowing our ancestors to evolve larger brains in concordance with smaller guts.
Since then Mankind has found thousands of ways of cooking with fire, and it is incredibly interesting to see them all.
Among the oldest ways to cook was the use of clay products like terracotta bowls. Widely used in every civilization, pieces of terracotta have been found nears ashes in the kitchens on every continent.
Later on, more sophisticated ways of cooking appeared and with them more appropriate ovens. First made of mud like this one from ancestral Africa.
Then from bricks, like this Roman bakery oven over 2000 years old which was found in Pompeii.
When we arrived at this period of time, Civilizations started to have contacts with surrounding cultures. Romans traveled to Syria and Lebanon, and such places as the wonderful, and now, nonexistent city of Palmyra, many varied and interesting Taboon Ovens that were used to make bread where found. You can still see these same ovens used in all Lebanon.
Long before Pompeii and the Romans, Alexander the Great from Macedonia and his army went as far as Turkey and India, where they might have found the Tandoori ovens.
The magic of Tandoori cooking lies in how much the ancient oven accomplishes in a relatively short time. It functions as a smoker, barbecue griddle, and convection oven. The food that emerges from its jug-like belly is bursting with flavors which is as a result of its ingenious, centuries-old design.
Often constructed from a cylindrical clay pot, either freestanding or housed within a second encasement for safety, traditional Tandoor ovens are fueled by wood or charcoal fires made in a reservoir at the bottom of the oven. Most often foods cooked in a Tandoor are skewered and placed carefully into the Tandoor, while breads are slapped against the inside walls and baked.
In our short story of man’s relationship with fire and food we now want to see the changes that metal has contributed to the story of cooking. When iron was introduced cooking started to take on the form of today’s customs. In China the big Woks were essential for frying all the recipes of the very ancient culinary Chinese tradition.
Then the Copper cookware appeared for the French Kings and came in an enormous variety of shapes and sizes.
Finally, we get to the Beltempo luxury cooking Oven “Cask”.
Everything we like most in life gives us 360 degrees of pleasure; more precisely it is what makes us participate in the feast of joy of and for our senses. “Cask” is 5 senses of delight. Joy of the sight, taste, touch, smell, and hearing. Delicious food, hickory smell and, the sound of the fire crackling. What a Joy!
Originally inspired by a South American way of cooking in the big Haciendas, of Colombia, Peru
and Brazil, they used 60-gallon Oil drums which were popularly refurbished as “Parrillas” or BBQ’s,
Every farmer in Peru had one in his courtyard. A “Pollo al Cilindro” literally a chicken drum: a
mix between a BBQ oven and a Chinese Box. Marco Sangiorgi went back to the very most ancient origins of it, that we just explored, and created a Vintage design of this Tandoor South American oven. Generally considered the best charcoal chicken ever tasted, this way of cooking from the designer’s perspective had to be upgraded from an aesthetic point of view. This time he wanted something sophisticated to look at. He restyled the drum, making it look like a cruise ship chimney. Manufactured in marine grade stainless steel, it was then provided with an elliptic cutting table in teak wood integrated to the main drum of the oven where you can slice the meat. The cover is an extremely high thickness plate where you can keep the pieces hot while serving, simultaneously a delicious Hickory smoke comes out from the fences designed as rays of the sun. The meat, either chicken or pork or lamb, is hung inside on special hooks, and at the bottom, the charcoal fire is kept alive from a little window. The touch of the silky teak wood, mixed with the charcoal smell, the shine of the steel, plus the taste of the meat, and the crackling of the fire, makes your experience unique and amazing! The Beltempo quality gives
you enough reasons to select this Limited-edition piece as a “Classic to own”.