THE FRENCH CONFIT POT
— CONFIT POTS come with and without lids and spouts —
First, before I embark on the explanation of the confit pot (Pots de confit), let me first explain what “confit” is. Confit is a classic French recipe where pieces of duck are slowly cooked in its own fat. The confit “pots” was the storage vessel – hence the name confit “pot”. These storage pots are a common sight in France and in antique shops such as our own French culinary shop, Aubergine Antiques.
After the cooking of the meat the containers were typically buried in the ground or put in stone lined larders with about four inches of the top sticking out – which explains why they are glazed about 3/4 of the way only down the pot. It is a misconception that raw meat was put in these vessels with salt or olive oil and stored. The meat would be cooked and then stored usually in its own duck fat and/or, but not always, with olive oil. Some were covered with gauze or cloth while others had wooden lids. The cool ground help preserve the meat until it was used. It was refrigeration at the time!!
These earthen ware containers are quintessential French and were especially popular in the country French kitchen, but were more than likely utilized even in the kitchens at Versailles. The kitchens at Versailles were unfortunately all but destroyed during the 19th century. Below is a picture from what is left of a partial kitchen at Versailles – It looks almost modern.
The color of the glaze is indicative of the region and the most popular color for the pots was a rich mustard or honey color.
If you see the confit pot that looks more like a pitcher (a cruche- one with a lid and spout) — those were used to hold olive oil or vinegars.
Today with modern day refrigeration we no longer bury meats in the ground and cellars. We do still use the confit pots though as decoration and to bring warmth to a room. The richness of the color and the history of these beautiful pots add charm any where they land.
We invite you to visit our French culinary shop, Aubergine Antiques, for a vast array of confit pots in the yellow ochre colors and on occassion the not as common green glazed confit pots and ones with spouts.
All pictures are our own except for a few that were borrowed for educational purposes only from 1stdibs.com (search confit pot)- if you would like to see our confit pots, please come in to our shop or visit us on line (search decorative accessories) at www.aubergineantiques.com
Au Revoir! A La Prochaine!!