Yes, black was literally the hottest fashion by default during my early childhood days, when firewood was used as fuel in our stoves to cook our food and boil our water. We had no choice, as we were poorer than church mice, and firewood was the cheapest option. One bullock cart full of timber odds-and-ends from the nearby sawmill cost just 10 ringgit, delivered to the doorstep.
Firewood produced plenty of smoke when burned, and soot particles would coat everything in the kitchen, apart from the two proverbial protagonists — floor, walls, cabinetry and other furniture, the undersides of our attap roofs (and probably the inside of our lungs too).
Surely we have progressed a long way, with gas stoves, and even electric ones. Our pots now can call our kettles by any colour, apart from black.