A Pan for All Seasons

It's heavy and durable--a link to our culinary past. Why cast iron is making a kitchen comeback

Javier Sirvent for TIME

Sales of cast-iron pans have grown from 4% of the cookware market to 10% in the past decade

Let me tell you about my cast-iron Pan. I bought it when I was 22, at a Waldbaum's in Jersey City, N.J., on a rainy night, for the cost of what then amounted to two pizzas. This black craggy pan--mistreated, misplaced and abused, in unspeakably heavy use for over 20 years--still sits on my range. It looks almost ludicrous atop the trans-human cool of that glass-ceramic surface, like a punch-card reader wired to a MacBook Pro. But that's O.K. This range will be out of fashion in a year or so, and the pan--made by the 116-year-old Lodge Manufacturing Co.--will sit...

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