Cousances

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Cousances enameled cast iron cookware. From left, the Doufeu (a slow-cooking pot roaster), small skillet, small round terrine, lipped milkpan with lid, skillet.

Cousances was a French cookware manufacturer, known for enameled cast iron pans ("cocotte" in French). The company was formed in 1553 and was acquired by Le Creuset in 1957. Cookware under the Cousances brand continued to be manufactured by Le Creuset into the early 1980s.

Cousances enameled cast iron skillets, pans, gratins, and pots were produced in the town of Ville Sur-Cousances and had features which distinguished them from their competitors, Le Creuset, Descoware of Belgium, and the Scandinavian Copco. Among those features were the base, which was left without enamel (like Copco) but sealed against rust with the final glaze (unlike Copco), and the skillet design which was a French version of the classic American skillet popularized by Griswold and WagnerWare, having two pour spouts, a cast on handle, and a lifting tab on the largest of the handled skillets. That skillet design was altered to include rounded sides for tossing/ sauteeing, and the lift tab being added to smaller skillets for easier pouring. That refinement made the Cousances 20 cm and 26 cm skillets a hit with cooks, who use the skillet as a saucepan for gravies and glazes, because the gravies could be made right in the skillet in which the chops or chicken was fried, and glazes could be perfected much more easily than in a deeper saucepan, and the finished product was easily poured into other containers thanks to the tabs, spouts and handles.

The Cousances designs are now produced by Le Creuset from the original patterns, in the original foundry/factory. The small, round medallion style logo which once read "Cousances, Made in France" around the centimeter size, now reads "Le Creuset, Made in France". Le Creuset has changed the colors of the cookware in the old Cousances patterns; but Cousances pots, pans, skillets, roasters and Dutch ovens are still to be found as used pieces, and are recognizable by the medallion logo, glazed natural color cast iron bottoms, which they share with the Le Creuset current line.

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