Whether you prefer enamel, stainless steel, copper, cast iron, or glass cookware, you can find it in a rich variety of styles and colors today. They also come in a wide variety of costs. Aluminum is also widely used, especially by commercial chefs, but due to new information on the healthiness of aluminum, many times the aluminum is only used in the outer or core layers.
With borders around the world seemingly opening up and the cuisine becoming truly ‘international’, more and more exotic meals can be prepared at home now. Our favorite exotic flavors are not just found in restaurants anymore. Many people may experience their first taste of an exotic food in a restaurant, but then find a recipe and duplicate it as closely as they can. A lot of times this necessitates them buying additional cookware.
I remember when ‘wok’ cooking became all the rage. Anyone who loved this style of cooking had to have one. It could be used on the stove top or could even be electric, although this doesn’t seem very authentic. International style cookware would certainly include a wok, as well as a bamboo steamer to go on top so that you could still do ‘one-pot’ cooking.
Then came the smoking and indoor grill rage. Now we may choose to have these electric grills for indoors, and multi-use ‘barbecue’ type appliances that you can use to grill meat and vegetables outdoors. With the addition of a rack and a pan, the barbecue can be used for smoking, as long as it has a lid.
No cookware collection would be complete without wonderful crockery for baking and roasting. Of course, nowadays there are ‘space-age’ plastics that you can use to bake right in the microwave. Most gourmet-minded cooks stick their nose in the air when you mention a microwave, and they were truly limited in the past. However, now with the addition of cookware just for microwaves, just about anything can be done quickly in this little appliance.
I was probably the last person in the civilized world to buy a microwave oven and now I use it all the time – even just to heat water to make coffee. How did I ever function without one? They do almost everything except make something taste good!
Of course, we need to have the best pots and pans for everyday use, for everything from boiling to frying. While someone who does not know much may choose the style based on the color (and certainly it would be non-stick!), a person who actually takes cooking seriously would want to consider technical specifications, so as to get the very best quality.