Cast iron cookware is manly. Usually, such broad generalizations could be easily dismissed as laughable, and depending on who you are and what your gender is, you may think this generalization is laughable as well. Maybe it is.
However, from my perspective, these pans, formed by pouring molten iron into sand molds, a technique used for centuries, is about as manly as it gets. This is not to say that women are incapable of such work, it’s just that when one, or more specifically, I, think of a person wielding a cauldron of molten pig-iron, the person doing it is a man. Perhaps I am biased.
That notwithstanding, whether you are male or female, cast iron cookware is an absolute essential if you have even the slightest of culinary ambitions. Cast iron heats more evenly, sears more safely, and with a little care, lasts forever, unlike aluminum pans, Teflon-coated, or otherwise. Plus, if you are concerned about foods sticking to the pans in which you are cooking, fear not. Cast iron, once properly seasoned, is about as non-stick as any chemically coated cookware, and best of all, if you somehow scratch it, or accidentally soak it off by forgetting it in the sink overnight, you can always re-season it, and in no time it’ll be back to its normal non-stick self.
Ultimately, I suppose the choice of cooking implement is a personal one. That said, there has to be a reason, beyond its versatility and relatively low price, why so many people, including myself, are so passionate about cast iron being the material of choice when it comes to cookware. For me, a good cast iron pan is like a good friend, reliable, and always willing to cook me a good meal.