So many cast iron cookbooks?

I was at my local bookstore and the cookbook section really caught my eyes. I noticed there were many beautiful cookbooks for cast iron, like these:

As I was admiring the beautiful cast iron photos, an odd question came over me: why are there so many cookbooks with a cast iron theme?

Anyone knows me from Chowhound knows that I like cast iron cookware very much, so I am not saying this to attack cast iron cookware. However, there is no good answer for the numerous cast iron theme cookbooks. These special cookbooks are suggesting something very special about cast iron cookware – needing 200-300 pages explanation. Are cast iron cookware more difficult to use than other cookware? Not really in my mind. Can they do special things which no other cookware can do? Not that much more.

So why do we have numerous cast iron cookware cookbooks? Why don’t we have cookbooks for aluminum, stainless steel surface, nonstick Teflon, copper or even carbon steel cookware? The last one is particular interesting because carbon steel has very similar properties as cast iron. Yet, Amazon has 3+ full pages of cast iron theme cookbooks, but not a single carbon steel cookbook.

My guess is that cast iron cookware have this “good old day” romantic association with it, and these cookbooks are driven by culture and attitude. This is just my guess.

why are there so many tweets #(politician)?

cast iron does certain cooking tasks better that other materials.

that’s it. that’s all.

when there was no other pot material available, cast iron was the best. by default, but none of the authors seeking to make a couple million mention that.

CK: “These special cookbooks are suggesting something very special about cast iron cookware – needing 200-300 pages explanation. Are cast iron cookware more difficult to use than other cookware? Not really in my mind. Can they do special things which no other cookware can do? Not that much more.”

If you didn’t grow up using cast iron it may well have been presented to you as fiddly and difficult. “I can’t deal with trying to maintain the seasoning - how can I cook with a pan I can’t clean with detergent? I’m not going to just WIPE OFF a dirty pan!” etc. etc. Plus as you know there is the whole collector thing.

Also braising as a cooking technique has also become more, I hate to say fashionable, but let’s just say, CURRENT in recent years so many cooks who have previously been more interested in grilling and sauteeing and stir-frying are expanding their repertoire of techniques.

True, but other materials are better for other tasks as well. It is not like we see a lot of cookbooks written for stainless steel cladded cookware or even Copper cookware.

Good point. I haven’t thought of that one.

“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold