There's so much more to love about confit pots than their beautiful appearance and striking colors. The word "confit" stems from the French word "confire", meaning "to preserve." Antique confit pots were historically used before refrigeration was invented as containers to cook and preserve duck in duck fat. The French pot itself is quite unique. Its glazed, yellow top and clay bottom differentiates it from any other pot. It is most notably recognized in Vincent van Gogh's sunflower painting, and has been a staple in kitchens for centuries.
Image courtesy of Wikipedia
The top half of the pot was typically colored a mustard yellow. Some were green and some were colorless, but confit pots are predominantly yellow. The bottom of the pots are unglazed because the preservation process called for the pot to be covered in cloth and buried in the ground up to the glaze line.
The glaze stops in the middle of the pot, as that was where they were buried to in order to keep their beloved dish cooled.
The duck was immersed in duck fat, slowly cooking for hours until it was tender. Once it cooled, the pots were stored in a cellar or buried in the cold ground, where families could bring them out for special occasions during the winter. The smaller pots were used to store one serving, and are highly desired in the world of antiques.
This gourmet, southern french treat that is said to be a superb delicacy is enjoyed by many. In the 17th century, King Henry IV of France missed the treat so much that he ordered barrels of it to Paris during his rule.
These pots are highly collectible, often used as accessories to add provincial charm to any space. Here at English Traditions, we love confit pots because of their beautiful and rich coloration, their unique history, and their ability to elevate any space to new levels of iconic French style.
Image courtesy of Chez Pluie
These beautiful pots are extremely versatile, too. They can be used simply as a vase to hold greenery or flowers, a functional storage mechanism, or as a simple accessory. Pair with an antique cutting board, and you're almost French!
Confit pots come in all shapes and sizes, and English Traditions has a very large collection of some of the best you'll ever see; above is one of our confit pitchers.
Display your confit collection in a French armoire from English Traditions to create a feeling of provincial southern France.