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Oct 5, 2010 04:32 PM

Cuisinarts vs Cuisinart - do I have a fake?

I rely on all you smart people @ chowhound for info frequently. I finally signed up because I'm at a loss and can't find any info.

I was trolling a local thriftstore for a cast iron roaster (different thread :) ) and found a nice heavy stockpot. After the magic of a baking soda scrub it looks lovely. But I noticed that the logo said Cuisinarts (with an S). It is also stamped made in france on the handle. No markings on the bottom.

I just can't find anything online to clarify this. Is it just a very old stockpot, pre China, etc? Or is it a weird fake?

Thanks for any insight.

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  1. It seems that the original name of the company was in fact "Cuisinarts". Maybe your stockpot is old enough to have been made during that era?

    From the LA Times August 3rd, 1989:

    Cuisinarts was founded in 1971 by Carl Sontheimer, an inventor who holds dozens of patents, and his wife, Shirley, of Greenwich, Conn. Two years later, the Sontheimers began marketing the food processors, which quickly became a high-tech prestige kitchen item.

    Cuisinarts was acquired last year in a leveraged buyout by a group of investors including Robert M. Fomon, former chairman of E. F. Hutton Group.

    The company still controls about 45% of the food processor market, but officials said it has foundered because of a stagnant market and a failure to capitalize on its famous name by using it on other products.

    Cuisinarts only recently began branching out to items such as cooking utensils, hand blenders and other cooking products. Only a few small electrical items and some imported cookware bear the Cuisinart name.

    4 Replies
      1. re: tanuki soup

        Awesome! A friend also found a something on google books - an ad from when Cuisinarts very first started introducing pots and pans. So, I think it's just old. The handles are welded on not riveted (for the pot anyway, the lid has rivets) and it has a copper disk in the bottom. I didn't see the copper until well into cleaning. But now it looks nearly like new.

        I'm itching to make something. My huge calphalon is fine and lovely but new pots always speak to me. And I'm having some chicken soup cravings.

        1. re: tanuki soup

          It's hard to tell the complete Cuisinart story without mentioning Robot-Coupe:

          1. re: Jay F

            Thanks Jay. That's great background. The funny thing is that I've never seen a logo that is Cuisinarts - with an s - until this week. And the only reference I could find on the web was someone on eBay commenting that there is a big difference between Cuisinart (no S) and Cuisinarts. Nowhere is there a solid reference to clarfity the difference.

            But mostly it's because I want to know how successful my treasure hunting was. It's not going to change the pot or me having it. It's a great stock pot for $8.

            Last week I found a small, apparently used once, All Clad pan for $5. Not to mention some fantastic Dansk and Finel enamelware over the last few years - so it's part of the hunt. Day to day I mostly use my cast iron. :-)

        2. We didn't notice until this afternoon that the pot set we'd treated ourselves to 25 or 30 years ago is a "Cuisinarts" while our new non-stick and our nearly 25 years old food processor are "Cuisinart." I think I'll be handing down my plural pots to my grandchildren as my grandmother did her cast iron skillets.

          1. As others have noted, the brand name was originally "Cuisinarts." Since the final "s" would be silent in French, maybe it was removed so that US consumers would pronounce the name correctly.

            7 Replies
            1. re: Miss Priss

              I think Miss Priss is on to something. A lot of European products have had their names tweaked so those multi-lingual challenged among us can pronounce a name a little more accurately.

              1. re: Miss Priss

                Not that it matters, but Cuisinarts/Cuisinart is an American brand name, not French. The company originally imported French cookware, at least some of which had no brand name (I have one of their 1970s skillets), but developed their own food processor based on the French machine with the brand name Robot-Coupe. So it would be an affectation to pronounce "Cuisinart" as if it were French, and I don't think that can be why they changed the brand name.

                  1. re: Miss Priss

                    Try this: Cuisine Arts but gramitically it could not be the Arts of Cuisine but the Art of Cuisine might have been more correct so Cuisinart may have derived from that convoluted thought of mine. (I'm cleaning the oven and the fumes are getting to me). Beg your pardon.

                    1. re: dcrb

                      Cuisine involves many more arts than just one, and Cuisinart's products, which then and now include their famous food processor but also skillets and other cookware, serve more than one of the arts of cuisine.

                      Maybe the founder/owner just thought it was a good idea. Or else Conair did, when it acquired the bankrupt Cuisinart(s) company in 1989. Something prosaic like that. We just don't know.

                      1. re: John Francis

                        True: we just don't know. And in an era in which almost every random question can be definitively answered by a quick Google search, it's refreshing to find one (however mundane) that isn't.

                    2. re: Miss Priss

                      My guess is that they removed the "s" to be more in-line with accepted usage. Singular brand names are the standard and plural ones are unusual. It's hard to think of one. We say KitchenAid and VitaMix, not KitchenAids or VitaMixes.