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All Clad skillets

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 

Good Evening, Fellow Cooks!

 

I have a question about the All Clad skillet that I recently purchased.  I like the way it cooks things--nicely browned etc., but the thing that "bugs" me is the shape and angle of the handle! I have a terrible time maneuvering the pan. The angle is too great and the top of the handle seems upside down. Perhaps professional chefs like that type of handle, but I find it very awkward. I was wondering if anyone has ever tried to "customize" or change the angle of the handle at a machine shop or somewhere they do metal work? I would reduce the angle and it would be much easier to manipulate. I know that would void the warranty, but perhaps I should check with All Clad first to see if there is any kind of satisfaction guarantee? Thank you for any ideas, comments or experience that someone may have had!

post #2 of 28

Welcome to Cheftalk, Tundragirl.

 

to see if there is any kind of satisfaction guarantee?

 

You're kidding, right? In my experience, All-Clad doesn't even honor it's basic warranty.

 

What about returning it to the store where you bought it? Some, like Bed Bath & Beyond, accept returns even if you've used the product if your dissatisfied with it.

They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #3 of 28

All Clad is the worst of all of them.As KY says return it if possible.

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #4 of 28
Thread Starter 

Hello, chefedb,

Thank you for your reply. Did you mean that All Clad is the worst of them in relation to the handles, or just in general? Also,  I could not see a "KY" comment--where was it? Thanks for your advice.

post #5 of 28

Worst for service, worst for standing behind their product. Go to a rest. supply buy a pro pan. It will last you 110 years

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #6 of 28
Thread Starter 

OK, thanks, chefedb!

post #7 of 28

I bought a Cuisinart stainless pan a while back.  The first time I cooked with it (regular beef stock, not even any red wine in it) it showed several small spots of -- get this -- all different colors.  Some red, some yellow, some blue.  It was a regular freaking Mardi Gras bead festival in there.

 

Must be some kind of imperfections in the steel.  I threw it out because for all I knew it was leeching lead and cobalt into my food.  And I bought an All-clad because it's made in America, and from their own steel.

 

While I am generally very happy with it, when I braised a beef stew with red wine, it also discolored in a few places.  Not nearly as bad, just a couple of gray spots that won't go away.  But still -- it's a lot of money for supposedly completely non-reactive stainless.

 

Now I use cast iron for frying and Corning Visions glass for braising, and a Le Creuset for stuff I need to deglaze.  I still have my All Clad stuff but it's mostly just for boiling pasta, and I don't think I will be accumulating any more pieces.

post #8 of 28

If you decide to return it, I believe Cooks Illustrated gave the Calphalon stainless series very good reviews.

or as chefedb says, go get yourself a regular restaurant saute pan. He's right. For a home cook they will last forever. I have an 8.5" pan from a rest. supply store that I've had for about 5 years. They're built for abuse.

post #9 of 28

In a rest. supply you may pay more but look at this math.  $49.95 in retail store  last  8 years  == about $6..24 per year under good enviorment of use.  Commercial  $ 75.00 lats for  20 years in rough, bad enviorment=$3.75 per year you figure it out.

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #10 of 28

I could not see a "KY" comment--where was it?

 

Ed was referring to my post above his, Tundragirl.

 

Lot's of members, here, when referring to me, use KYH or KY as an abreviation of my screen name. Sure beats typing out the whole thing.

They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #11 of 28

I have one 10" all-clad pan that I've had for about 15 years and it's still going strong. My least favorite part of it is the handle - I don't like that it's straight and has no curve to it. Tundragirl - my advise to you is either use the pan and get used to it, or try and return  it and get something else. Don't bother trying to mod the handle. Bang for the buck, all-clad is hard to beat, but far from my favorite. ATK has picked all-clad as their favorite 12" skillet for years. I like Viking a lot - much much better handles.

 

If you do go the rest pro route, keep in mind there are many options in pan construction. All-Clad are solid wall construction, whereas some lower end, rest pro stuff included, is disk bottom only. There was another thread on this recently. IMHO, disk bottom pans are fine for stock pots where they only boil, but not good for fry/saute/skillet pans because the edges above the disk get too hot and burn/scorch food and the pan.

post #12 of 28

because the edges above the disk get too hot and burn/scorch food and the pan.

 

Are you talking from experience, Carvingtool? Or just passing on conventional wisdom?

 

I have both solid wall and disc bottom skillets and pans and have never had that happen; not even with the cheap WearEver models. I've concluded that this is more a theoretical problem than a real one.

They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #13 of 28

I have two 12" skillets I got from Target years ago - I think they are ChefMate - w/ thin SS sides and copper disk bottoms. They are a great size, have no helper handle (I can't stand helper handles because they upset the balance of the pan when flipping, add unnecessary weight, and take up more room on the range top) and a great value @ $20 each. I've beat the snot out of them over the years, and they keep going and going.

 

Every time I use them I get scorching on the sides, the hotter the flame the more scorching. I have to pay special attention to making sure the pan is directly center over the flame, or the scorching gets really bad where the flame will lick up the side of the pan. When I cook for clients and use the pans in the house (usually a rental house that has cheap disk bottom pans) I have the same problem. I speak from experience and for me it's a very real problem/concern.

 

I've been looking for a replacement for them for years, but haven't been able to find the same features and size that I like, so I keep using them and deal w/ the scorching... don't like all-clad enough to spend the money on them; love Viking, but they only do 11" and 13" - the 11" is a little small for many things, and the 13" has a helper handle and is bit too big to put two on a 30" range at the same time; most every other 12" skillet has a helper handle and/or some other cheap gimmick which turns me off from spending the $$ on them at all. Recently got a 12 1/2" ScanPan CTX which is very nice. But the round handles suck because if you put it in a hot oven and take it out using a towel/pot holder the handle will twist in your hand and spill everything out. YIKES!!!! Open to replacement suggestions on that note... Cheers! mpp
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by KYHeirloomer View Post

 

Are you talking from experience, Carvingtool? Or just passing on conventional wisdom?

 

I have both solid wall and disc bottom skillets and pans and have never had that happen; not even with the cheap WearEver models. I've concluded that this is more a theoretical problem than a real one.



 

post #14 of 28

KY  I think everyone should take into consideration that years ago the pans were heavier and I believe made better. Just look at sheet pans and other tools even in restaurant supply stores, they are half the weight and a reduced gauge. Its like the food manufacturers not raising price, but cutting contents of package from 16 ounces to 14 1/2 and Ice cream from a Gallon to 3/4 gallon.

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #15 of 28


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Capsaicin View Post

I bought a Cuisinart stainless pan a while back.  The first time I cooked with it (regular beef stock, not even any red wine in it) it showed several small spots of -- get this -- all different colors.  Some red, some yellow, some blue.  It was a regular freaking Mardi Gras bead festival in there.

 

Must be some kind of imperfections in the steel.  I threw it out because for all I knew it was leeching lead and cobalt into my food.  And I bought an All-clad because it's made in America, and from their own steel.

 

While I am generally very happy with it, when I braised a beef stew with red wine, it also discolored in a few places.  Not nearly as bad, just a couple of gray spots that won't go away.  But still -- it's a lot of money for supposedly completely non-reactive stainless.

 

Now I use cast iron for frying and Corning Visions glass for braising, and a Le Creuset for stuff I need to deglaze.  I still have my All Clad stuff but it's mostly just for boiling pasta, and I don't think I will be accumulating any more pieces.


That discoloration is perfectly normal. It's not evidence the steel was reacting with anything chemically; it's caused by heating the steel to a high temp.  All steels behave this way to some extent. Think of the color change a carbon steel wok or fry pan undergoes when you heat/temper it. The gray spots are normal too. You *can* stain stainless, but it still is non-reactive.  In stainless steel cookware, you can easily remove both with a green scrubby if you find them bothersome, but the effect is purely cosmetic.

 

You'd think that you could never get a pot full of liquid hot enough to "heat tint" it, but I have on occasion seen it happen even when boiling water for pasta. It usually happens right after I pour the water out. Best I can figure, there's enough energy stored up in the copper clad/disk to raise the stainless's temp enough to tint it after dumping the water out.

 

If you have any other stainless you don't use or feel like throwing out, by all means, drop me an e-mail first. I'll pay for shipping!

 

BTW, I have an odd mix of Vollrath, Lincoln Optio, Adcraft and Revere (they briefly made true copper disk cookware)  disk bottom stainless cookware and have never had problems with scorching on the sides so long as I control the flame (and a complete non-issue cooking with induction). Yes, I can force it to happen if I use my 2 qt disk bottom sauce on my range's 16k "boost" burner at full blast with flames licking half way up the sides, but I've never found a compelling reason to operate that way. I was taught to avoid letting flames come up the sides of any cookware and have never been able to cause it to happen on my large skillets, stockpots, etc.  Perhaps on a more powerful professional range it's more of an issue.

 

Doug

 


Edited by Phreon - 3/5/11 at 5:50am
post #16 of 28

Carvingtool, just as a separate issue, sounds to me as if you're working on too high a flame to begin with. Stainless and cast iron have one thing in common: they require much lower heat than other materials. Try dropping the heat source to no more than medium and see what happens.

 

Alternatively, switch to carbon steel.

 

Ed, there's no question you're right about cookware being lighter in weight and gauge. But I don't think that affects the basic issue. I have never had a disc-bottomed pot of pan scorch because of edge heating. But I don't work at blowtorch levels either.

They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #17 of 28

Sure you are cooking at to high a temp and if its gas heat its actually hotter. I do not recommend stainless steel  interior pots and pans , sure they are shiny and pretty but they do not conduct an even heat and form hot spots.. Stainless steel on the other hand is great for storage of foods  or water bath type heating  because it  in most cases won't have a severe reaction with acidic foods like aluminum will . Any pot or pan used incorrectly will discolor. Stainless when cooked in at high temps. often forms a rainbow of color on the pot

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #18 of 28
Thread Starter 

Good Evening, Everyone,

Thanks for all the input and comments about All Clad skillets and pans vs restaurant supply stock. This is a great resource for anyone who is interested in cooking and doing it well!  I am out of town quite a bit and am an infrequent visitor to forums and blogs, but will "tune in" whenever I am able. Keep up the good work!

post #19 of 28

Capsaicin is right about the discoloration of the stainless. I have have been using the All clad d5 stainless for the last 14 months and they look like the day I purchased them. I have occasionally experienced the discoloration that concern some of you.  I have also experienced it on other stainless. Any food stains on stainless are easily removed with "Barkeepers Friend" cleanser. It won't scratch polished surfaces and does an excellent job of removing stains. I love my All Clad and treat it with respect. I never put it in a dishwasher. Always hand wash and dry immediately. I expect to pass it on  to the kids when I can no longer cook.

post #20 of 28

to chime in,to me, the only pans worse than all clad are emeril lagasse's ridiculous line....heavy, bad handle design which get hot, hot, hot, bad pan design as the pans burn as soon as they are heated, and are a real bear to clean...as for all clad, too heavy, bad handle design, and no 'cool touch' handles...what's up with that?

joey

food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

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food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

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post #21 of 28

What you might not be aware of, Joey, is that the Emeril stuff is All-Clad. It's their ckeaper, built-in-China line.

 

 

They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #22 of 28

well, whaddaya know!...imagine my surprise!!!

joey

i have a set of sauce/stock pans from letang & remy(france) from my early boating days...they are stainless and have a removable snap in handle, for ease of storage(they nest), which is always at a premium on a boat...i've probably had them for 20 years and they have crossed many an ocean and have willingly and beautifully cooked alot of food..they will outlive me for sure, but that's okay!


Edited by durangojo - 3/10/11 at 2:57pm

food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

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food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

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post #23 of 28

Can some recommend a restaurant supply house and a particular brand? I was about to purchase my 1st piece of All-Clad. I have a set of Viking but I need a 3 qt saucepan.

 

With all the marketing praising All-Clad, I thought I should try it. 

 

Thank you for the recommendations on this thread.

post #24 of 28

sweetie pie,

 

As it happens, I have a couple of pieces of All-Clad and like it; but that doesn't mean I don't listen to and believe the problems people have had with customer services or uncomfortable handles.  Some people hate it, for some people it's "the best," and for others -- like me -- it's just well-made multi-ply I happened to get at great sale prices.  Linda, my wife, likes the handles.  I have "XL" hands and just about everything is okay, besides I routinely use a  towel.  But we're not you.

 

Restaurant supply cookware, just like the home stuff, comes in a bewildering number of brands, metals, and construction types.  More than anything else, what makes them "commercial" is their straight lip -- required by the NSF.  There's nothing magic about stuff which comes from a restaurant supply house.  You have to know what you want.  Even in person, they are a lot less helpful than stores like Bed, Bath and Beyond (BB and B) and Sur La Table (SLT), and online... fuhgeddaboudit. 

 

BTW, BB and B is very good... especially their return policy.  But SLT is great.  SLT does have a lot of expensive stuff, though, so WATCH OUT if you have any tendency to overbuy.  Pros get a 15% discount.  Not that you should lie or anything; just sayin' is all.

 

Meanwhile, back at the restaurant supply house:  Most of what you see in US commercial kitchens is plain aluminum, and not really good for a home cook because aluminum is both highly reactive and prone to dings and warps.  It's a good idea for us home cooks to have a core set of stainless or stainless-lined multi-ply because it's very much not-reactive and very warp resistant.  Ed makes a fair point, but "restaurant supply" is not the be all end all panacea to your equipment confusion.

 

If you're looking for a basic sauce pan, skillet and can afford top of the line stuff, Vollrath's tri-ply line, "Tribute," is very good.  I've had very good luck with Vollrath over the years and recommend it very highly.  It's not particularly pretty, though; if that matters.  When we replaced all our old stuff (mostly Calphalon aniodic), I planned to do it with Tribute mostly, but got overruled.  Anyway, even though it isn't what Linda wanted it's very good stuff and an excellent first choice.

 

Tribute has flat, "pro" style handles with "gator grips."  Pretty much everyone likes the way they work, but not the way they look.  For that matter, most pro cookware has one of a couple of types of "pro" style handles -- flat and wide with or without an arch to raise the handle, or "French" (arched bar).  Either is fine with me, you might hate both.

 

The usual professional internet suppliers not only suck at giving advice, they tend to be on the high side of retail and charge premium prices for shipping to boot.  I believe "The Knife Merchant" sells Tribute at good prices, but it's been a few months since I researched it.  But those few months ago, after doing the research, I would have bought from them had we bought Tribute.

 

If you buy pro stuff, don't forget lids.  They're almost always sold separately.  This stuff doesn't come in sets.

 

Try and be aware of weight.  You don't want anything too heavy to handle when agility matters at all.  For instance, if you toss-turn your sautes...  You don't want your pan to force you into using a spoon or spatula, if that isn't what you usually do.  Speaking of weight, helper handles can be very helpful -- especially for women.  And yes, as with handles, size and gender are important here.  Chef Ed and I might not have a problem toss-turning the heaviest 2.5mm thick, 300mm (12"), stainless lined, copper skillet -- we might even think it's fun -- but that doesn't make it a good choice for you.  Ask yourself if you can take the largest, heaviest frying pan you're planning to buy, loaded with food, off the stove top, and slide it into the oven, with the main handle alone.  Even if I could, I'd rather not -- and I ain't no weak sister, sister. 

 

In addition to that core set of a few sauce pans and skillets, it's nice to have some specialty stuff like carbon steel skillets, enamel over cast for braising, stainless "spaghetti set," a cast iron "chicken fryer," monster stock pot, and so on and so forth.  Leave some room in your cabinets.

 

Don't feel obligated to buy or not buy a set.  If the set is made up of stuff you want, it's usually a lot less expensive to buy it that way; plus sets come with lids.  On the other hand a kitchen is not an outfit, accessories don't have to match.

 

You want good stuff, but you don't need the most expensive and/or the best -- whatever that is.  At a certain level of quality, it all cooks the same.  You have to live with this stuff for a long time, so looks do count.  For instance, most of our set is that extra heavy duty stainless-lined copper.  It's beautiful, it's fun to use,and yes it works great -- but it doesn't work noticeably better than anything else good.  It's just so damn pretty it was worth the several extra pesos to us. 

 

Bottom line:  The magic is in the cook, not the pot.  All you really need is something good enough to not get in your way.  Like Vollrath Tribute.  Or Calphalon multi-ply stainless.  Or...

 

Hope this helps,

BDL


Edited by boar_d_laze - 7/20/11 at 8:55pm
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post #25 of 28

WOW! Thank you for that in-depth and knowledgeable reply. I will look into the Vollrath. I didn't know they made saucepans. I have one of their sheet pans. It came warped but seemed to straighten with use.

 

I noticed the prices of All-Clad are really tumbling.  I have a set of fully clad Farberware I purchased when I got married in 1970. It still looks new!  It is put away for my son because it is the cookware I used when he was growing up. It cooks well, the only thing is they are very light weight.  

 

Is there a way to tell which All-Clad is USA made? I'm reading complaints about the quality of the pieces made in China.

 

My Viking is a very well-made substantial pan. When I make syrups, no matter how much crystallization, the pan always cleans beautifully. But, they are a pain to clean. BarKeepers Friend is a must! I know All-Clad discolors from heat too.

 

I love helper handles. I will definitely look for them.

 

I don't toss my sautes. My Viking pan is very heavy and I sometimes need 2 hands just to pour the contents out of the skillet. I will keep that in mind too. 

 

I love SLT! The store manager went above and beyond for me last Christmas. I was looking for a LC 7 qt dutch oven. Every piece they had in white was damaged. The manger emailed other locations, found one in perfect condition on the east coast and sent it to me free shipping, over night delivery. They really go out of their way for their customers.

 

Thank you for your help. I will look into the Vollrath. I am basically looking for something to use as the bottom of a double boiler to melt chocolate and is a go-to pan for times when I want to make clean up easy.

 

Thank you !!

 

 

 

post #26 of 28

Thank you, everyone, for the excellent advice.  

 

I've given it a lot of thought and I feel I should bite the bullet and get a 3 qt Viking saucepan.  Since I have the other pieces and I know it is very well-made and heats evenly,  I probably will should stick with it.

 

I looked at some other pans and the prices were not that different when Viking is on sale.

 

Thanks again!

post #27 of 28

Hello,

 

I was wondering how much a Letang and Remy Cookware Set was worth? What did you pay for it? What should I charge for a nine piece set without handles?

 

Sincerely,

Kim

post #28 of 28

kalinshadow,

i'm probably not much help as i don't know what was paid for my set of letang and remy...they were a gift...i was cooking on boats at the time and they not only stored well but cooked beautifully...still use them today as they are my at home set......just curious, why are you selling them and what are you selling exactly?

joey

food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

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food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

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