|Finex cast iron cookware on display at Rush's Kitchen Supply in Idaho Falls.|
Alex Constantino of Rush’s Kitchen Supply said he had the same thought when he was recently approached by a sales representative from Finex Cast Iron Cookware Co., a Portland, Ore., company that makes artisanal cast iron cookware. While he agreed to take on a few pieces to see how they do -- they are on display at the front of the 345 Lindsay Boulevard store -- he’s says he’s still wrapping his head around the idea that someone might spend four times as much money on a Finex skillet as they would on a Lodge skillet at C-A-L Ranch.
Of course, Rush's has its share of “gotta have” customers, who will spend top dollar on Le Creuset or All-Clad cookware. And cast iron is the latest foodie obsession. What brought me into the store for a look was a story in the New York Times that I saved on my iPhone, Fashioning Cast-Iron Pans for Today’s Cooks.
I suppose this is how commerce works in the 21st century: Knowing from my posts and clicks that I am interested in food and cooking, Facebook routinely puts New York Times food stories in front of me. I save the links. I suppose I am still old-fashioned in that I went to a brick-and-mortar store like Rush’s. I could have looked on Amazon.com or eBay. But I like to keep business local when I can. For his part, Alex seemed amazed that it was a New York Times story that got me in the door.
Did I buy a Finex skillet? No, not on the spot. But they are gorgeous. Each pan is handcrafted and takes about 12 hours to make. They come pre-seasoned, with care instructions. I mentioned it to my wife, because my birthday is less than three weeks away. Overall, the 10-inch skillet with lid appealed the most. The 12-inch skillet was so heavy that a person could develop a truly monstrous tennis forehand from using it.