The origins of Chasseur cast iron

UntitledChasseur cast iron cookware is made at a foundry in the Ardennes region of north-east France. The department of Ardennes on the river Meuse is a beautiful rural area on the border of France and Belgium, with an extensive National Park of dense forests and mountains with steep-sided river valleys. Travelling through the pastoral landscape it is hard to believe this area hides a turbulent history of bloody battles, but armies have fought over this important stronghold since Roman times. As a result, the region is scattered with castles and fortified churches including the largest medieval castle in Europe at Sedan, the star-shaped fortified town of Rocroi which dates back to the time of Henry II and the remains of a Roman encampment. One of its more recent cultural treasures is the impressive Place Ducale in Charleville, a vast square of Louis XIII pavilions, a replica of the Place des Vosges in Paris.

The beautiful mountains and rivers of the Ardennes attract walkers, hikers and climbers, as well as visitors looking for places to kayak, mountain bike and go horse riding.  The region holds a large folk festival as well as numerous music and Rock festivals and an annual medieval festival at the fortress at Sedan.  Every 3 years the regional capital holds the World Festival of Puppet Theatre which has grown into a showcase for over 600 artists from around the world.

Not surprisingly for a region steeped in gastronomic history, every year the Place Ducale in Charleville attracts visitors to a two-day festival of gastronomy and culture at which they can sample local produce and recipes, some of which date back to medieval times and are re-created just for this festival. Simple stews go back generations in Ardennes cuisine, from the most basic meal of potatoes and onion slow cooked with lard, to heartier stews with lots of vegetables with pork, smoked sausages or bacon.  There are numerous delicious local cow’s milk cheeses to sample as well as regional pastries such as, Mollet cake, and Tarte au sucre, a cake that tastes as sweet as it sounds.

The Ardennes, as well as being well-known for good food, is a traditional centre for forging and metal working. Our foundry, outside the village of Donchery, has over 70 years’ experience in casting and enamelling cookware, and we have worked together for over 25 years. In recent years the foundry has led the field in technological innovation, including pioneering environmentally friendly production: each piece of enamelled cast iron cookware is made from over 40% recycled material, every mould is broken down and re-used, and a state of the art filtration system minimises potential pollution. The foundry and enamelling plant operate the strictest quality standards, where every piece of cast iron, from saucepan to roasting dish is inspected at each stage of manufacture. So we have always kept the production of Chasseur in France as we believe the skills of their workforce, and the superior processes found there, ensure we manufacture top quality cast iron products for our customers.