Lursta Cast Iron Swedish handicraft to last generations
By Emma Rodin
Forged in tradition – the team behind Lursta Cast Iron combines knowledge, innovative design and a passion for food to create handmade products full of stories. Made with repurposed local scraps, each piece is designed for longevity and sparks joy at each use.
The backstory of Lursta is perhaps best described as a happy coincidence, or a being-in-the right-place-at–the-the-right-time sort of thing. Launched in 2021, by Andreas Stridqvist, a third-generation caster, and John Andersson, an architect and industrial designer, the young brand is based at the Lyrestads foundry, which Stridqvist’s granddad started in the 1950s.
“I’ve always done iron casting, but it wasn’t until I was asked to create a custom-made frying pan for a restaurant that I realised I wanted to continue down the food route and create something new,” explains Stridqvist.
Simultaneously, John Andersson had discovered an interest in iron as a material and was looking for an opportunity to develop his designs. Eventually, the two founders’ paths crossed, and Lursta was born, based on the duo’s shared values of quality and drive, and of course, passion for food.
Made by Lursta
With only a few products in its range, Lursta is synonymous with innovative, detailed designs and uncompromising quality that showcases the brand’s Swedish heritage. Often the products are inspired by chefs and their needs in the kitchen. But no function comes without form, and at Lursta form is central. Through his designs, Andersson is always striving to update the form language of cast iron and make it relevant for the future.
One of Lursta’s products is the Gravitas mortar. The brainchild of Andersson, this was the brand’s very first launch, now patented for its clever way of using iron’s natural weight to crush herbs and spices. Additionally, there’s the Lyrestad frying table. This original design is made with the user in mind and can easily be moved from stove to oven thanks to its strategically placed, detachable handles.
“Some see the weight of cast iron as a hindrance, so I use my designs as a means to turn that negative into a positive. Take our mortar, which relies on weight to function. On the contrary, the weight of the Lyrestad frying table is easier to manoeuvre than you might expect, assisted by the clever handle design. So, we’re essentially challenging people’s preconceptions and educating them at the same time,” Andersson explains.
The taste of childhood
A great depiction of the Lursta brand and values is the Arvet pancake pan. Developed in partnership with the Swedish chef Stefan Ekengren, the pan, which is induction-friendly, is a wonderful celebration of national food culture and gives the humble pancake the respect it deserves.
“We meant to make something completely different, but when we first met Stefan, we quickly started discussing childhood memories and what foods we associate with those,” tells Stridqvist. “Everyone has a relation to pancakes, whether it’s the smell, the people or the taste, so we decided to make a product purely dedicated to pancakes, good enough to last for generations. It’s a project we hold very close to our hearts”.
Partners in food
Always pushing the boundaries for what’s possible, the Lursta team also creates products by request from chefs and restaurants, such as the serving smoke bowl for renowned chef Niklas Ekstedt.
“Working closely with our customers and partners is essential to the way we function,” says Andersson. “We’re constantly learning and growing from people in the industry and strive to be better every day”.
Speaking of partners, Lursta will team up with Gustav Leonhardt as he competes in next year’s edition of Bocuse D’or, the prestigious gastronomic competition which attracts the world’s top chefs. The idea is for the Lursta team to work closely with Leonhardt to create custom-made products for his team.
Closing the loop
As mentioned, the team behind Lursta takes local scrap to make their products, simply melting it down and reshaping it. Well, simple may be an overstatement as the process of iron casting is rigorous and require both patience, dedication and expertise.
“We have a local-first approach to everything we do and work with nearby scrapyards to source material, plus we reuse leftovers from our own production. That’s the beauty of iron, that you can remake it again and again,” says Stridqvist.
To ensure the highest quality at Lursta, the Novacast computer system is used to analyse melted iron (like tasting food during cooking). The contents are checked against predetermined values and the software then shows what needs to be added for the perfect mix.
With lots in the pipeline for Lursta, keep your eyes peeled for more. Oh, and do pick up a curious mortar for Christmas, or maybe a pancake pan for someone you love? It’d be the gift that keeps on giving, year after year (and pancake after pancake).
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