Everybody knows Foshan wok.
2014.07.14

Ever since the Ming and Qing dynasties, the Cantonese pots (Guangguo) made in the town of Foshan has been world-famous for hundreds of years. Foshan’s craftsmen mastered the unique pot casting technology in which the best of regional iron material was used. As a result, the iron wok was thin and light, quick-heated, no oil absorption, uneasy to burn and rust, and colored like silver. Foshan wok not only enjoyed good quality, but also had a unique image recognition system.

First of all, it is a visual identification. The first visual impression Foshan woks give a person is "thin". Foshan woks are heated faster due to the use of high quality iron; besides; the pot body is thin. So, the consumer could identify from the angle of "thickness" or thinness”. Foshan wokssecond visual impression is that they look "smooth". Because of the smoothness, they are not easy to rust, neither are they easy to burn while cooking dishes or rice. Thesecret is Foshan woksmade full use of the unique "red-mold casting method”, so the metallurgical structure is fine and enjoys a high surface finish. In addition, after the iron pan is made, yellow mud and lard oil are used to rub the surface, so it is stainless and bright. Foshan woks’ third visual impression is "white". It is said that you can use a kind of " Cantonese stone" to polish it silver-like. Pots are usually black, but white ones will of course give people a strong visual impact.

Secondly, it is the auditory recognition. Foshan pots are thin and smooth with a homogenous texture. Consumers can hear to identify its quality. It is said that when you use a rod to strike aFoshan iron pan,the sound is like wood if it is of supreme quality. So good woks sound sweetly like the Qing, a traditional local instrument, when is knocked on with a wooden rod.

In addition to the visual and auditory recognitions, consumers can also identify through strike. Foshan woks are thin, but it is very strong. In the folk stories about Foshan pot, peoplewould like to prove its good quality by striking it. For example, sellers will crash wok  against the slab, giving forth a tremendous sound. Thepot, however, rolled on the green flag, unharmed. Or, they will turn a wok upside down on the ground, chopping on it with a hoe with sparks splashing, but the pot is in good condition.

Fine woksare not only a good cooker, but also have many other uses. For example, they can be used as an equipment toproduce sugar, just as the folk saying referred to as "sugar pot" (tangwei in Chinese). The cauldron, about 4 feet in diameter and 1 foot deep, can hold as much as 700 jin sugar juice.

Due to the fact that the pot is thin and light, silver-colored, the price is relatively high. It once became a dowry for the rich folks to marry off a daughter. And because it is "well-made, exceptional", Foshan pot is also served as a tribute to the royal family.  In the Ming and Qing dynasties theimperial household would come down to Foshan to procure the pots about every other five years; the style and size had special provisions. These pots in the royal life not only play the role of the cooking utensils, but the royal sacrificial ceremony of sacrifice as well. Besides; they arefine gifts to give to the foreign diplomats. Foshan pots can also be used to "tuangang" (a method of steelmaking in ancient China), which can greatly improve the efficiency and quality of steel. The method is not only widely known in the folk, even it is recorded into the selected military works”.

With unique quality and wide range of uses, it is a natural thing for Foshan pots, be it elegant or vulgar; literary or military, to enjoy a good reputation everywhere.