Clay Pot Revival
We have fallen in love with Bram – a petite storefront in Sonoma. The alluring and uncomplicated nature of clay pots satisfies our human desire to escape and discover soulful techniques that are rich in flavor and tradition.
Owners Ashrf and Shelly Almasri assemble an outstanding array of handmade, natural earthenware, clay pots for the stovetop, oven, or table from around the world. The price points vary per size – allowing anyone to collect and experience the clay pot revival by braising or slow-cooking comfort foods. Our favorite items include:
- Egyptian Hala: "Hala" is the generic term used in Egypt for a casserole with high sides. These are traditionally used to make meat and vegetable casseroles cooked with spices and a bit of liquid to create a stew.
- Skillet: Perfect for braising, roasting, or cooking sauces in the oven – the skillet is a cazuela with a convenient side handle and pour spout. It’s slightly reminiscent of the French poêlon found in Provence.
- Round Baker: A go-to piece that, due to its depth, allows that ideal ratio of creamy interior to golden, crisp topping in an oven or bbq. The round baker is also terrific for keeping food warm in the oven or reheating dishes.
Within the store, the sheer quantity of inventory is mesmerizing and so the use of color blocking in merchandising is extremely effective in aligning assortments by function. Small tables create vignettes for storytelling of cultures, traditions, and techniques.
In addition to cookware, Bram also stocks an impressive selection of French, Indian, Italian, Middle Eastern, and Moroccan cookbooks. In November, Bram will be hosting a book signing and dinner to celebrate Paula Wolfert’s new book: "Mediterranean Clay Pot Cooking".