Q: As a Christmas present to myself, I bought some more Piazza cookware from one of their US distributors. Included were cookpots, saucepans, and frying pans. My first experience with Piazza was with their "brazier" (at least that's what Williams-Sonoma called it. Piazza actually calls it a "two-handle frying pan"). I love the two handles, but I figured I'd pick up a conventional frying pan with one handle also. Last night, I decided to break in my new "one handle" frying pan by making a quick stir fry. Nothing fancy...just some cubed chicken breast, garlic, ginger, sliced red bell peppers, and sliced onions that I had on hand. While making the stir fry, I found that this new frying pan I bought was the most comfortable piece of cookware I've ever used. The pan itself is sized at 28 cm (about 11 inches). Like other Piazza stainless steel pieces, the pan has a big, thick metal disk welded to the bottom. The thing that gets me though is the HANDLE. Welded to the pan is a polished handle that's almost 10 inches long. Tubular in form, the handle is about 1.25" wide, and 0.75" thick. It's not round...more oval in shape. The "top" and "bottom" of the handle is flat, and the "sides" of the handle are rounded. The handle itself is sealed at both ends. One end is welded to the pan, and the other end is flattened with a hole cut into it for hanging. During cooking, the handle was extremely comfortable. It didn't get hot at all, and picking up the pan was really easy. An added bonus was that I didn't have to worry about the pan tipping over when I picked it up. With some pans, the handles are small and narrow, so that the pan can twist in your hand when you pick it up (and dump the contents as it twists). No problem here though....the pan was totally stable as I picked it up. I just thought it was cool...many thanks to Sheldon for recommending this line of cookware. I've never seen cookware that was built like this.
A: Piazza definitely isn't easy to find in the US. I ordered my Piazza cookware from one of their US distributors (Silverspoon North America). No online ordering -- I picked the items that I wanted from the Piazza catalog and they shipped them to me COD. Acquiring Piazza definitely isn't as easy as buying All-Clad, Calphalon, etc. Here in the US at least, I think they cater more to the professional market. But I'm glad I came across them, because their cookware is wonderful. Works great, really comfortable...no complaints! Good luck finding it in the states unless you order it online. I've got 8qt stock pot and the brazier. I shoulda' sprung for the 12qt while I still had the chance.
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