Why choose Vermicular

How we created VERMICULAR

Q: Tell us how the Vermicular concept was born?

A: Established in 1936, our company was a small subcontractor backstreet foundry factory manufacturing accurate hydraulic equipment parts for ship and crane.
We started developing Vermicular in 2007, just before the Subprime mortgage crisis, when our subcontractor activities were quite prosperous. Then, we had faith in our technology but were concerned about depending only on subcontracting.

That’s how we started thinking about providing consumers directly with a world class product using our unique technology.

Q: Why making pots?

A: Investment in new technologies was out of the reach of our standard backstreet factory, so we had to develop a new product with our existent technology.
Although we certainly were a small factory, we were able to melt and shape iron (casting) and to machine it with extreme accuracy. So we had particular assets to start developing a world class new item, but we had no idea of product.
While gathering information about cast iron, we found that it was ideal for kitchen cookware.
The “Dutch oven” pot that was once used outdoor was especially popular for its good cooking and a lot of recipe books were devoted to enameled cast iron pots.
We had always considered cast iron as an industrial component and were wondering about its culinary properties; so we bought a foreign enameled cast iron pot and tried cooking with. Compared to other cookware, taste was obviously better.

Q: That is how you decided to make pots?

A: Yes it is. However the enameled cast iron pot was not considered the best cookware in the world. Actually, “the best” were waterless stainless saucepans.
Their reputation was based on their airtight property that allows waterless cooking, which enameled cast iron pot does not.
The main advantage of an airtight pot is nutrients retention.
But regarding taste, enameled cast iron offers better results!
After a thorough research and many trials, we concluded the fantastic properties of enameled cast iron (heat conduction property of iron, heat retention property of enamel and carbon contained in cast iron) were superior to any other material in terms of cooking.
By associating our company’s “casting technology” with “extreme accurate machining”, to fit the lid perfectly to the body, an enameled cast-iron pot requiring no cooking water could be produced. We thought designing the “world’s No. 1 flavor-improving pot” should be possible.

Q:With such properties, the “world N°1 flavor-improving pot” would just become the “world N°1 pot”!

A: Exactly. If we would be able to provide households with a pot that easily brings out ingredients’ natural flavor and, meanwhile, effectively retains nutrients, it would for sure become a popular cookware.

Q: Where is the shape of Vermicular coming from?

A: Based on the 2 ideas of “natural flavor improvement” and “easy use”, the design of Vermicular naturally came up to our mind.
Q: Concretely...?

A: While conducting researches about natural flavor improvement, 、
we understood the importance of the following 3 cooking methods: “thermal conduction”, “thermal convection” and “thermal radiation”. To make it clear:
“Thermal conduction” is the process of frying food from the bottom of a pan, for example.
“Thermal Convection” is the movements of steam and hot air that evenly cook ingredients from their surface
“Thermal radiation” is the process of heating ingredients inward without damaging their structure like a microwave does.
To bring out natural flavors while evenly cooking ingredients, the concept of “Triple Thermo” popped into our mind, and giving shape to this concept was designing Vermicular.

Q: What is the concept of “Triple thermo”?

A: It’s our own conception for revealing food’s intense taste without overheating ingredients directly from the pot bottom (thermal conduction) but cooking them evenly (steam convection from ingredients’ exuded water) and slowly from inside (carbon and enamel’s thermal radiation).
To avoid excess heating of food, we reduced contact between the bottom and food to the utmost by adding ridges on the pot bottom, and ergonomically designed the lid to conduct effectively convection heat in and around the food inside the pot.
To make its use as simple as possible, the ridges on the bottom are spaced a finger’s width apart for easy cleaning. The specific design of lateral handles allows even a petite person to hold the rather heavy pot quite easily, making it feel light. All these considerations and adjustments determined the whole design of the pot.

Q: From this stage, did development run well?

A: No... not really...
First, we thought we would achieve our goal within half a year with our technology and know-hows, but it actually took 3 years! Our small factory had no full-time developer, and pursuing development without knowing when we would actually fulfill our ambition was really a hard challenge.

Q: What kind of troubles did you meet?

A: First, enameling cast-iron is a very difficult task and Japan almost had no record of such process.
Enamel has to be fired at 800 °C (1500 °F) but the carbon incorporated in the cast iron starts producing gas at 740 °C (1360 °F), causing blisters on the enamel surface.
Helped by specialists, we kept conducting trials for more than a year.
But it took another year and a half before completing a hermetic enameled cast iron pot!
Only 3 mm (0.12 in) thick, our cast-iron is extremely thin and requires advanced technology and a lot of care to be processed with high precision, but we were not able to make a cast iron strong enough to resist the 800 °C (1500 °F) firing of the enamel coat; at such high temperature, cast iron was slightly warping, making the tight-fitting process a vain.
To eventually achieve our goal, we had to develop a cast iron strong enough to make possible both the tight-fitting and enameling processes.
It really was a long and sinuous way; development expenses were running up and, in addition, we had to face the subprime mortgage crisis. Instead of sleeping, we spent nights wondering if we could ever achieve our goal...

Q: Finally, how was the taste of your first Vermicular meal?

A: We designed the Vermicular pot to become the “world’s No. 1 flavor-improving pot”, so I should have been emotionally prepared for it, but I will never forget the feelings of my first meal with Vermicular. It was a Japanese curry.
Vegetables and meat cooked one hour over low heat, and when I opened the lid, although no water has been added, the pot was filled to the brim with ingredients’ moisture turned to a savory natural juice.
Without seasoning, vegetables were sweet and flavorful, their taste spreading all over the mouth; just unforgettable!

Q: What is your next goal?

A: We aim at producing the world’s best and “most beloved” kitchen cookware.
To achieve this goal, we must not think in term of “sales result”; “customers’ satisfaction and enjoyment” should be our priority.
We believe that bringing smiles to households with our cookware, and standing by our customers to support them as well as possible, will make Vermicular a beloved brand.