¡Qué Chimba, la Chamba!

What is more fascinating than a tool from our ancestors? In Colombia, La Chamba is a piece of pottery to prepare food that has been made there for centuries. Named after its origin, La Chamba, Colombia, this pot has a unique look but also a very unique creation process. Let’s see how La Chamba is created, where it comes from and some different recipes you can make in it! By Alexx J. for The Adventures of Pili

In the town of La Chamba, you will find a small community of artisans who create this cookware that dates back to 700 years ago. They continue the process of only using resources available exclusively in their region, which includes the black clay that the pots are molded from. 

Black clay is harvested, rolled, hand-formed, painted, fired in a kiln, and dried before getting an extreme hand-polished finish. The whole process literally takes a village as each person takes on a specific role such as handle-maker, lid cutter, pot sculptor, or kiln operator. These are truly a labor of love, each step takes patience and focus and the community will do whatever it takes to protect them from the elements, such as rain. 

The reason these pots are still used today is for their long-lasting capability to distribute and retain heat evenly. They can also be used on a gas or electric range and be simply used to serve in. Due to their natural makeup, they are free from toxins and instead, can add a smokey, rich flavor to your meals. The final step of creating these pots occurs when the pots are lit on fire and then the lid is shut to smoke them for many hours. Black colored pots will emerge from the smoking barrel and you’ll taste that richness in your meals when you cook with this piece of pottery. 

Sustainable and suitable for many recipes, it seems like there’s nothing La Chamba can’t do. Now that we know it’s the essential cookware for Colombian recipes, let’s look at a couple of classic recipes you can make at home! 

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By: Alexx J. for The Adventures of Pili. This is the latest post in the Pili´s Explorers Cookbook conceived by  Kike Calvo and the team of The Adventures of Pili, which profiles interesting information, research, and thoughts on nutrition and food around the world for families and kids. Click here to read the previous article.