Household Units: Kitchen

In the past, water was heated in large cast iron kettles, which were placed in the hearth. While in the more affluent houses it was common to have a wood stove, in the humbler ones, meals were prepared in the hearth, a kind of stone fireplace with an opening to place the wood, traditionally using pine cones.

These conventional-model, rounded kettles, with a wider bulge, lid on the top and side spout, served to heat the water without evaporating it and could be deposited directly on the fire.

The steam formed in the kettle spouts caused a kind of easily recognizable whistle that indicated that the water was already boiling.

Credits: Madeira Ethnographic Museum