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Old 04-14-2009, 07:12 PM   #1
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Tagine Help?

First off the wealth of information on this site is incredible, so thanks to the administrators and members.

I just returned from Marrakech, Morocco with two new tagines in hand. I spoke to many vendors about which tagines were meant for "presentation" and which were meant for cooking. I wanted one that was meant for cooking and ended up settling on an unglazed clay tagine, but with some sort of black-ish coating on it. Upon getting home and running it under some water to start cleaning it up, the coating started to rinse off. Is this normal? Was I taken in by an eager souk vendor? These specific tagines were available all over Marrakech so I didn't feel like I was buying an oddball tagine or anything. I want to start cooking with it as soon as possible but I don't know if I should.

Here are some before and after pictures.







Any help on what this coating is, whether it is safe to use, or what I should do with it would be very much appreciated.

Thank you!!
J

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Old 04-15-2009, 06:37 AM   #2
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Hi, i am sorry to say that you should not attempt to cook with this tagine.

Tagine pots that are of this appearance and have a blackish coating on them, such as the one pictured above, are not safe for cooking.

What you have here is NOT an unglazed tagine.
An unglazed tagine will be of the orangey red clay colour appearance, dull in appearance and not shiny.

The black coating on your tagine pot most likely contains lead.
Any attempt at eating food cooked in this pot will most likely end up giving your diners Lead poisoning.

The best thing you can do with this Tagine pot?

Break it up and throw it away.

When visiting Morocco and purchasing a Tagine pot, do not seek advice from the vendors with regards to the safety of the pots for cooking. Look in the smaller, out of town souks and markets for pots that are plain, just clay and have no shiny or black surface and no paints or colours.

If you want further clarification and advice, please feel free to email me.
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Old 04-15-2009, 07:34 AM   #3
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travelnlight is right, don't cook in these tagines. There is a wonderful discussion regarding tagines at the egullett site. Paula Wolfert gives a lot of helpful information for seasoning and cooking with a tagine. I ordered mine from tagines.com. check out that site too. I usually store onions and such in mine as DH doesn't care for the spices used in tagine cooking. I have mine sitting on the kitchen counter as I just love the look of the tagine!
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Old 04-15-2009, 08:37 AM   #4
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I agree, you should not use that tagine for food. Here is what an unglazed, seasoned tagine should look like. I seasoned it quite some time ago by soaking it, simmering it without food. I think I put some vinegar in the simmering water, too. The more you cook in them, the more they become non-stick, almost like a well seasoned cast frying pan does.

I think if you Google Moroccan Tagine Cooking or Paula Wolfert, you will find some excellent information on tagines.



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Old 04-15-2009, 09:42 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marigene View Post
I agree, you should not use that tagine for food. Here is what an unglazed, seasoned tagine should look like. I seasoned it quite some time ago by soaking it, simmering it without food. I think I put some vinegar in the simmering water, too. The more you cook in them, the more they become non-stick, almost like a well seasoned cast frying pan does.

I think if you Google Moroccan Tagine Cooking or Paula Wolfert, you will find some excellent information on tagines.



i went here: Tagine, Moroccan Tagine (tajine), Lead Free, Foodsafe, Tagine Accessories, Moroccan spices and Free recipes!

and all but the last 4 cooking tangines look painted or glazed. so i guess so long as the paint doesn't have lead the painted is ok. but i think i would be suspicious no matter what they say. i would deffinately go with the other replies against painted or glazed just to be safe.

btw i have never eaten or cooked this style of food, but that pic of the chicken (i assume it is chicken) looks great.
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Old 04-15-2009, 09:51 AM   #6
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After looking at the site msmofet posted, it seem clear a tagine can be glazed or unglazed and still be food safe.

Muy question is this: How hard was it to remove the coating on the tagine. If it came off with soap and water and a little scrubbing, I'd be suspicious.
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Old 04-16-2009, 08:35 PM   #7
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Thank you everyone for your great replies and helpful information. The coating came off, literally, with just water running over it. It didn't even take much scrubbing. That's definitely what started our suspicion. Oh well, you live and learn.

What do you all suppose that coating is?

I guess we will just have to settle for a tagine purchased in the US! Tagines.com seems to have some great options.
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Old 04-06-2014, 08:32 AM   #8
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The last activity for the OP was in April of 2009.
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