If you’ve ever been to southern Portugal, you might understand why.
Cataplana is a regional specialty made with clams, ham, sausage and all sorts of seasonings, from wine to parsley. I fell in love with it from the moment of my first taste. The word also refers to the clam-shaped dish in which it is cooked. It’s unique in that you turn it upside down halfway through the cooking process.
In this case, Cataplana turned out to be the name of a specialty kitchen supply store run by personal chef Cecelia Fetty.
She has plenty of kitchen gadgets and dishes with brands like Rösle, Viking and Emile Henry as well as Fiesta Dinnerware. And, yes, she has two sizes of cataplanas hanging in the front window. Tagines are more popular these days, however, she says, as the popularity of Moroccan and Middle Eastern foods continues to grow.
There are a few specialty foods, from vanilla paste to powdered egg whites, but the vast majority of items include pots, pans, scales, cookware and the popular six-sided Italian measuring jug that has side-by-side grams-to-ounces measurements for rice, sugar, flour and more.
I picked up a pair of elephant mugs with the trucks as handles.
The store has been open for six months now. In that time, Fetty’s special order business has taken off.
She also teaches a free monthly cooking class on the first Thursday of each month at Amazing Grace Lutheran Church, 12525 Farm-to-Market 1957, San Antonio. Call (210) 679-7800 for the time and to reserve a seat.
810 U.S. 90 E.
Open 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Wednesday, Friday; 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Thursday; and 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday.