This is a wonderful expression of the basic terra cotta form made from clay which has been used since classical times. I love the earthiness and simplicity of terra cotta -- basic earth, low fired with an interior glaze. When I am not making soups in it, I place it as a decorative piece on the shelf in my kitchen, so I can enjoy it every day. Until this century, this type of jar was the traditional way of storing olives. You can use the jar for storing beans or rice in the kitchen; but even better, once the jar is cured, it is the perfect medium for a slow cooked stew. We include the directions for the simple curing process. Absolutely food-safe, lead-free terra cotta.