The mineral-rich soil of central Portugal has made it a mecca for hand-crafted earthenware for hundreds of years. Barro Negro means "black mud" and the gorgeous, rich color of these ceramics is all natural and left unglazed. While we love the aesthetics of its stealth matte black look for its own sake, this unglazed finish also makes these ingenious Mini Gratins able to withstand pizza-oven-temps. Seriously. These little pintxos-inspired dishes are perfect for popping in the oven (marcona almonds, bacon wrapped dates, cauliflower gratins, shakshuka, berry crumbles...anything petit that gets roasted or baked, really) and then bringing with a sizzle and a flourish to the table. Ahhh. Of course, like any pretty dish, these don't need to get hot to look hot. Un-roasted they're a divine size for cold custards, fresh fruit, or even just elevated mise en place. 5" wide x 1" tall.
Take Care: Give these special pieces a little TLC and they'll last a lifetime. Natural earthenware is particularly porous, so handwash and go easy on (or skip) the soap. If you live in a particularly dry climate/apartment (or are using it for baking) consider soaking your flameware in water before use. The clay will absorb the water and release it in the oven. Use wooden utensils when cooking and non-abrasive scrubbers when cleaning.