French Glassware for the Ages

Who says strong and beautiful can't go together? The French know how to do both.

By Kristin Belz October 9, 2012


The tempered glass of Picardie glasses from the French company Duralex can go hot or cold, as well as into the microwave and dishwasher.

Who says beautiful means fragile? Not the French, or at least not the 80-year-old French company Duralex. To them, strong and beautiful go together. The company was founded in 1939, when they invented their proprietary “glass tempering process.” Today, they are still manufacturing their strong but beautiful glassware and tabletop products in La Chapelle-Saint-Mes min, in the “very heart of France.”

The original tempered (toughened) Picardie glasses are known as the “original French tumblers.” The Picardie name comes from a province in northern France that is “the heartland of French gothic cathedrals.” Not a bad heritage for producing long-lasting, beautiful utilitarian structures. But Picardie glasses are more likely to be found, anytime over the past seven decades, in a classic bistro or cafe than in a cathedral.

The Duralex line has all the conveniences you could want for modern times in a busy household (or restaurant). Stackable, freezable, microwavable, dishwasher-safe, 2 ½ times stronger than regular glass, and if they ever do break, the tempered glass shatters into tiny pieces that are safer than the big sharp chunks a normal glass would break into. (They even have a children’s line.)

Kitchen Kaboodle, Williams-Sonoma and Sur la Table are all local spots where you can find a selection of Duralex. And, cheers: vive la France!

Filed under
Show Comments