Get down to earth with a purple clay slow cooker

The Zisha Slow Cooker by Sunpentown utilizes uncommon clay for distinctive results.

Purple and orange have never looked so appetizing.

Some kitchen appliances do not lend themselves particularly well to embellishment. However, bells and whistles are always attention grabbing and drives sales. This is not a bad thing as consumers appreciate choices in the marketplace. But when considering a cooking style that does not require many options, sometimes a more down to earth approach is needed.

The Zisha Slow Cooker by Sunpentown uses a special clay that is rich in natural minerals: kaolin, quartz, and mica, with a high content of iron oxide. Traditionally used for teawares, zisha clay--also known as purple clay or sand--is porous and unglazed. Prized for tea as this quality absorbs the characteristics of the beverage; for the cooker, the clay assists in even cooking, while "the minerals help retain natural juices, essential nutrients and vitamins," according to the manufacturer.

Certainly the first thing noticeable about this slow cooker is its appearance. Looking like it was transported straight form the '70s (complete with fanciful dancing crustacean graphics), the cookware shines in a crowded marketplace. With an oven-safe and microwave-safe removable inner pot, along with a large 5-liter capacity, the 280-watt kitchen essential is sure to stand up (and out) to regular use on the countertop.

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