This is the perfect cooking vessel for cooking polenta from the very fine fioretto type to the coarse bramata. The shape is specifically designed for even heating and long cooking times. What I like about this particular pan is it's priced less than a third of the cost of other 'authentic' ones. There is little difference among them from what I could find when comparing the actual pans side-by-side, so I opted for this one.
Here is the reality of owning one: they require very special care and come with a number of restrictions. First, this is shipped with a coating that needs to be removed. It's a smelly and messy job. It entails rubbing it with a damp cloth dipped in an acetone-based nail polish remover. There is another method that involves boiling the pan in hot water with a small amount of baking soda. This pan is a little too large for that unless you have some truly large pots in which this one will fit.
Second, this is not a general purpose cooking vessel. It is designed for cooking polenta or similar dishes and is not lined with tin or zinc like other copper cookware. This means that you should only cook ground grains in it. And under no circumstances should you use it for tomato sauce or any other acidic dishes.
The good news and the value of this in your kitchen is this is a proven shape and design. Its heat distribution characteristics make it perfect for cooking polenta, which requires a lot of simmering and stirring. One of the things about the pure copper construction is the polenta will not stick to the sides as it cooks. And the heat will evenly distribute up the walls of the pan as well as the bottom.
I cannot give you any tips on polishing this pan because I let mine develop a natural patina between use. I do wash it with hot, soapy water and towel dry immediately. I have had no issues with the pan itself or the handle (which is also lacquered). The pan is made in India for those who care about such things.
The bottom line is if you are looking for a truly authentic polenta pan this is on par with the other, more expensive ones I looked at and has proven itself in my kitchen.
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About the reviewer
Mike Tarrani (mtarrani)
My day job is in the technology sector as an IT consultant specializing in ITIL, and specifically, configuration, change and release management. I've traveled the world as a consultant before moving … more
Want to cook your own polenta, just like your Italian grand-mama would? This is just the pot for you! This traditional polenta pan is made of unlined copper. While appropriate for preparing polenta, it may not be suitable for cooking other types of foods, especially acidic foods such as tomato sauces, etc.