Mexico By Hand has been buying hammered copper vases in Santa Clara del Cobre, Michoacán since we started in 2004. But it wasn’t until a decade later that we received our first order for a copper cazo. In case you aren't familiar, cazos are essentially large cooking pots with handles and without a lid-- very traditional in Mexico for cooking a variety of foods over an open fire. Cazos are most known for cooking carnitas, but they’re also good for making candy and jam because copper conducts heat so well. It turns out that some farmers in the U.S. (as well as Australia) have discovered that Mexican cazos are just the tool they need for making artisanal cajeta! In 2015 I received an email from Christelle, a goat farmer in Maine, who told me she makes organic products including cajeta from her goat’s milk and she’d like to buy a cazo. For the uninitiated (and you really must try some) cajeta is a delicious caramel-like creamy delicacy made from milk, sometimes called dulce de leche. Later that same month, I received another order from a goat farmer in Maine— and these two women didn’t even know each other!
Christelle was very happy with the results and says she uses her cazo to make cajeta about five times a week. I learned this when she contacted me towards the end of 2022 to request two more cazos. Soon after she received them, she sent me a photo of a cazo in action, plus a few more of her adorable goats. And then it occurred to me that since I really do love cajeta, I needed to sample her product. Just before Christmas my package of cajeta arrived and I have to say…it’s amazing! My favorite way to enjoy it is on vanilla ice cream— absolutely delicious! We're so happy to play a part in the creation of this special treat produced by this hardworking farmer.
And just this week we've ordered a custom cazo from copper artisan Roberto, for a cheese maker in Oregon!
If you're interested in checking it out, here is the website for Copper Tail Farm https://www.coppertailfarm.com
And if you'd like to order a cazo, here's the link for that. https://mexico-by-hand.myshopify.com/collections/hammered-copper/products/hammered-copper-cazo-cooking-pot