The Cataplana is a traditional Portuguese pan which is specific to the Algarve region and consists of two spherical parts that can be clamped together.
Many dishes can be cooked in this typical pan in a very healthy way. Almost everything can be cooked in the cataplana, such as seafood, chicken, meat, fish and vegetables and everything flavoured with fresh herbs.
A cataplana is a copper pan made of two clam shells that can be sealed with two clamps. The origins of this cooking device are lost in time. In the early 20th century Portuguese hunters carried cataplanas loaded with onions and tomatoes, so they could cook on a wood fire.
Later, in the 1960s, the cataplana became a popular way to cook fish and shellfish in the Algarve. Since then, it has become a hallmark of Portuguese cooking.
There is something magical about the moment when the cataplana arrives at the table. And it is not hard to imagine that, as the pan opens, flavours the same secret incantation used in the banquets of the ALGARVE Nights to make the meal unforgettable.
Its concave shape, together with the excellent thermal conductivity of copper, means that the heat is distributed more uniformly in its interior, thereby ensuring more even cooking of the food. On a low heat, for example, this heat distribution makes the utensil more energy efficient.
HISTORY OF THE CATAPLANA
The Cataplana is a special and unique Portuguese cooking device, whos origins are not well known because there are no official historical records about its origin, appearance, and creation. In order to find the of the Cataplana, we are almost bound to deepen the Arabic influence from North Africa, which is well over 500 years away (VIII century to century XIII) sought the major goals of the Algarve region, and to this day still fresh in their culture and crafts and to find again is reflected.
What Makes the CATAPLANA Special?
Shaped like a clam with two domed halves, the pot seals in moisture like a Dutch oven, encouraging a steaming effect inside the vessel. The latches on the side lock the dome closed, emulating a pressure cooker. The cataplana is essentially an uncanny combination of slow cooker or Dutch oven, tagine and modern pressure cooker.
The cooking process used by the Cataplana prevents the loss of the ingredients and aromas, ensuring a full and excellent flavor Furthermore, cooking in the Cataplana is healthier since the recipes use less fat, and thus contain fewer calories. Of all the cookware materials, copper is the best heat conductor. It heats food evenly and adjusts to temperature changes quickly. Does not require much pre-heating since copper heats very quickly.
Why else should you use and own a Cataplana?
You love to cook, and we’re guessing you’re probably pretty good at it or you’d be Googling something new other than regular cookware. That means you’re ready for your best recipes to get even better.
The only ingredients in our pots and pans are copper and tin a;(Cu),(Sn) in the Periodic Table of the Elements. Our pure metal cookware is as unalloyed and organic as it comes.
The use of copper, apart from the excellent conductivity of heat throughout the Cataplana structure, gives the entire contents of a special, unique and incomparable taste.
Copper is Timeless Beauty
Copper is one of the oldest metal known to mankind and has been used for centuries. Copper is a living metal and will change according to its surroundings with character and beauty. This innate feature with hammered artisanship gives the kitchen a timeless feel.
Along with timeless beauty copper cataplanas also provide health benefits. Copper has the inherent ability to kill a variety of potentially harmful pathogens.Copper is antibacterial, killing most bacteria within a couple hours.Copper is a necessary trace nutrient, but, like grandma used to say, you can have too much of a good thing. That’s why smiths have been lining copper cookware with non-reactive tin for centuries. You never have to think about what could be going into your food other than what you put in the cataplana.
Copper Cookware has been the gold standard in cooking and the top choice among professional chefs and cooking enthusiasts for centuries. A quality copper cookware set is an investment that will stay in your family forever. Bring added quality, functionality and more beauty to your home with a copper cataplana.
The more you work with the cataplana the more you will realized this dish isn’t just for shellfish. It can be used for vegetarian stews, chicken, rabbit and seafood rice and a variety of different fish dishes like a Caldeirada de Peixe (fish stew). Cooking in the cataplana makes the flavors richer by not allowing the juices to go to waste by evaporating into the air and instead continuously sinking back into the food and creating a luscious liquid in the bottom.
FUN, SAFE & EASY TO USE AND CLEAN:
Cataplana is perfect for the cooking device because it efficiently contains the flavour and heat of the contents in the dish to provide a uniquely flavoured and scented dish, simply without any fuss.
The cataplana is easy enough to clean, but we recommend using copper cleaner or polish to keep it looking pristine. The pan is a refreshing combination of form and function, and easily the most eye-catching addition to your kitchen.
KATAPLANA EXPERIENCE APP AND RECIPE BOOK
We are really excited about bringing the KATAPLANA APP and the RECIPE BOOK to life. And not without reason more than a simple recipe bank, the app and the book will help you regain control over lunchtime, hit health goals, and enjoy amazing meals with friends and family.
Our app’s UI design is clean, is easy-to-navigate, and is cross-device functional. Plan your meals on your iPad, then get your shopping lists on your iPhone and Android devices too!
We partnered with professional chefs in the Algarve region and nutritionists to create an evolving library of recipes tailored to fit a broad range of diets, appetites, and health goals.
In North Africa, we find some very old utensils, where the cooking process is very similar to the Cataplana. This is, in fact, the famous "Tagine" the Moroccans, which, though traditionally made of clay, but the same kind used for cooking food, the hermetic steam process. In later years, this cooking process was then used in cataplanas to food to cook slowly and gently with lower overall temperatures.
Why we need your help
Our product is ready for production - now we need to funds for the first production run. All the funds raised will go directly towards sourcing the materials and expert labor needed to create these handmade cataplanas. We have the suppliers and the factory lined up and ready to go, we just need your help to bring the KATAPLANAS to life.
Share with family, friends or clients the cataplana or introduce a new menu into your restaurant.
Bring back the lost art of metal spinning
Copper was one of the first metals to be spun and the tradition continues at KATAPLANAS. Copper is the perfect metal for spinning because it is very malleable and ductile, meaning copper is resistant to breaking or cracking during the metal spinning process.
All the tools are organized, clean and ready to work.The tools are made by the artist himself and many are passed down from generation to generation.
How We Got Here
We’ve tested our cataplana with both chefs and home cooks to develop something that feels intuitive for everyone. After more than 6 months of designing, prototyping, testing, and manufacturing samples we’re ready to reinvent this hallmark of Portugal and go to production. Dozens of revisions have helped us to develop a tradition we can’t wait to share with the world.
Help us grow our business by contributing to our campaign, and more importantly, please let us know what cookware you'd like us to offer next. A bigger cataplana? A paella pan? A wok? The possibilities are endless.
KATAPLANAS is a family team dedicated of the craftsman thath decided it was much better to work for a small company and make products that make people happy. We love work with copper and cooking,our father and grandfather Jorge Silva has more than 40 years of experience working with copper cookware!Most of the people in the factory are related, fathers, mothers, sons, uncles, cousins.