A long time ago, my chemical engineer boyfriend scienced me into buying anodized aluminum cookware, and I’ve always used it since. In fact, I’ve used the same set since. Starting with a few pieces before my wedding and the full set soon thereafter, I gathered a moderate amount of the stuff. My ex-boyfriend’s ended up in the San Francisco Bay; well, one piece did. That’s another story altogether. But mine went forth and multiplied.
Soon after I bought one of the saucepans, it “silvered” or de-anodized, which means the dark coating on the inside wore off because of something I had cooked in it. Supposedly safe, we used it for years to make popcorn, since I thought I had ruined the pot doing so, and didn’t want to ruin another.
One day a few months ago, I thought I’d check the claim that it actually was OK to eat de-anodized pot popcorn or whether we might go blind with science. I discovered something that rendered the question moot: the silvered pot was covered under the lifetime warranty Calphalon has for its anodized cookware, and not only that, but the other pieces in the set, which were not silvered but had tiny pits in the coating, would also be covered under warranty.
As equally quick to seek out new cookware as I was suspicious, I sent in a couple of the worst pieces for evaluation and replacement. A few weeks later, eureka! I received brand, spankin’ new saucepans from the latest line, Calphalon One.
Little by little, I swapped out the old set for the new. There were a few glitches when a piece was no longer being manufactured, such as my 2.5-quart Windsor saucepan or my 12-inch paella pan, but I worked it out with a kind, patient, and generous customer service rep, who put the ‘service’ back into customer service. She went through the entire line, describing possible replacements and even offering whatever upgrade I wanted so I’d be satisfied. And all this for cookware that was about a dozen years old.
Finally, I mentioned that I had one major piece left, my big stockpot and pasta strainer. I told her that really wasn’t in bad shape, so I felt greedy about even mentioning it. There are a few pits, I told her, but it’s still very useable. She told me to send it in and they’d recycle and replace it, just so I would have a complete set of the new stuff.
Calphalon has come a long way since the days in which I bought my set — the handles are stay-cool now, and ergonomic, and the pots are handsome. Still work as well as the old ones, probably better (I hope, at least, in terms of de-anodizing). I just wanted to let everyone know that their customer service is commendable. I’m thankful I decided to go with Calphalon, and I love my new cookware. It’s not often I recommend a product or service on this blog, but I’m so happy with what happened, I have to share it.