Clay pots – a dying tradition

A strong case for local cooking utensils

Lynda “Lyns” Roberts, of Elvie’s Pottery in Sea View Farm, has sent out a passionate plea to the youth of Antigua and Barbuda, in the hope that they will see the usefulness of maintaining the clay cooking pot culture in the country.

“My family story and the value of our clay cooking pots to health and nutrition will blow the nation away. I want to share my family’s story, which will cause us to look and reflect on how far we have moved away from our local customs and practices which upheld many families,” she said. Lyns said she is a grassroots community woman who is seeking to ensure that intergenerational transfers of knowledge to the country’s young people on clay pot making in Antigua and Barbuda is maintained and carried on.

“My 69-year-old mother and I represent the only remaining family in Antigua with this knowledge. I have been appealing to local authorities to give support for this local custom and tradition to be maintained but so far, these efforts have been in vain,” she revealed.

Lyns added that the cooking containers made from local clay are in great demand by the Rastafarian community but said it was the devastating Coronavirus, COVID19 that has opened her eyes to the need for better and more widespread utilization of clay pots for cooking.

She said this medium allows food to maintain its nutritional content to help build strong immune systems is a proactive way to help in the fight to contain the spread of COVID19.

Lyns is hoping to play a pivotal role in the production of a documentary that will highlight the local processes, the benefits and the values to the nation through the retention and utilization of this traditional knowledge and the practices associated with it.

“The knowledge and information is authentic, handed down by our family members.  Many schools bring the children to observe the process and well-directed support will enable us to share our knowledge and expertise with the entire nation. For instance, the clay is alkaline in nature enabling it to interact with the acids in the food while cooking, enabling ph balance. The food cooked in clay pots becomes rich in various minerals such as iron, phosphorus, calcium and magnesium.

From the information shared the body needs alkaline substances to fight the virus so we have ben well ahead on this,” she said.

She added that locally made, natural, clay pots retain the nutritional value of food and food which usually carry a pleasant aroma and earthy flavor.  

“Because the Clay pots are porous and allow the heat and moisture to circulate evenly during the cooking process, this lets the food retain more nutritive value than food prepared in other kinds of utensils. Also, meat prepared in clay pots remains juicy and tender,” she said.

4 thoughts on “Clay pots – a dying tradition

  1. I’ll be visiting next time I come back to Antigua. I’d love to learn how to make them and details on the benefits.


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