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Age-old cookware for the modern cook

Everything old is new again, and soapstone, a material used for cookware in the Stone Age, is back in the kitchen.

Stone and steel. M. Teixeira Soapstone

I am a huge fan of saving time and energy in the kitchen. Why wash a pot and a serving dish if I don't have to? But serving directly from pots and pans doesn't always have that look of understated elegance I'm striving for.

Clearly, this is an age-old dilemma. Back in the Stone Age, apparently soapstone was the go-to material for cookware. No, really. The Internet said so, so it must be true. Anyway, soapstone is a prime cookware choice because it heats evenly, doesn't alter flavor or react to acids, keeps food warm, and can go directly from oven (or cooktop) to table.

M. Teixeira Soapstone is a nationwide soapstone distributor with the largest collection of soapstone available in the United States. It's the only stone they handle, so they know their stuff. They quarry their own soapstone, cut and polish the slabs, create custom soapstone products, and if you're ordering countertops and sinks, they'll come install them in your house.

This stuff is not cheap--the 2.5-gallon pot pictured here runs $175. But you have to admit, it looks great. Also, if you regularly compete with your friends in an effort to out-gourmet them, you know that presentation is everything. Why bother with copper pots. You can give them a withering look when they ask about your soapstone, and just casually mention that this is what the real chefs use.

Take a look at the online collection and contact the company if you're interested in seeing more.