Barro literally means "mud" but generally means "clay," This beautifully hand-crafted and hand-painted Barro Cazuela is made by artisans living in the Oaxacan highlands. The red clay is gathered from the surrounding hills. Bits of wood, stone and corn are used as tools to mould the clay on a traditional banding wheel. The pottery is burnished using a stone and brush to give it a smooth unglazed finish. Finally it is pit fired under corrugated metal with wood, sawdust and cardboard. This technique has been passed down through generations for hundreds of years in this village. Made of earthenware or "clay" or in Spanish “Barro" this Cazuela is authentic and a piece of fine art. Barro Cazuela maybe glazed inside or out (or both) then fired over low heat. The results are earthy, stunning and a pleasure to use. Clay has been traditionally used in Mexican cooking because the clay imparts a specific flavor to the foods that can't be reproduced in a metal pot. Before use, be sure to cure by using a simple seasoning process before you use this Cazuela. Fill with water and place it over a direct flame. If you have an electric stove then you should use a diffuser or buy a small portable gas burner. Allow the water to boil for a few minutes then remove from the heat and discard. Do this twice. Add a bit of Mexican pottery to your table with this gorgeous handmade Cazuela De Barro piece. They are beautifully hand painted with beautiful floral along the outside and top of the lid as well. The special and authentic hand shaping of the Barro makes them unique in proportion, an element that makes handmade so beautifully perfect. Excellent for Casseroles, Frys, Braising, Roasts. There are no breaks, but please keep in mind that this clay material is hand handled, shaped and made; minimal chipping is natural. They are ready for use and certainly to add a bit of Mexican style decor to any table setting or folk kitchen. Cazuela is 3.5"h. and 10"d.