So this article showed up in Pocket and I thought it sounded very interesting because my daughter is a great fan of charcuterie and wine. The article can be read here if you dare:
Fromage fictions: the 14 biggest cheese myths – debunked!
I started out reading with the idea in mind to blog about my newly found wisdom regarding the art of preparing and pairing different meats, cheeses, and wines for the ultimate charcuterial enjoyment.
I read a couple of paragraphs and discovered that this article written by a reporter from the Guardian was a series of small blurbs and quotes from various Cheese Mongers and other experts from all over the world (apparently, I got quite confused).
I could lie to you and say that I learned a number of new things about putting together the ultimate charcuterie, but I learned very little other than the surprising fact that I, a self-declared cheese lover, have been mistreating cheeses all my life. I do remember one small bit of useful information: Do not use cling wrap or baggies to store cheese; they hold in moisture and promote the growth of white mould, which, although edible will taint the taste of the product.
I was shocked into silence. Even the delicatessen hands over their fine cheeses in plastic baggies. Apparently, cheese needs to be stored in beeswax wrap, wax paper or baking paper. They should be wrapped, but not too tightly. Why? Because cheese is a living organism. By extension, I reason, eating cheese from the package or from the charcuterie board, you are eating what might be considered the sushi of bovine origin (sometimes goat, water buffalo, etc.). Would it not be logical that cheeses offered up whole or in various sliced, diced, or crumbled styles are best served with rice wine/sake?
I went to Amazon at once to price beeswax wrappers, waxed paper, and baking sheets. One of the cheese experts recommended using only beeswax wrappers so I went there first. I was quite surprised to see that beeswax wrappers are quite expensive. Three wrappers for about $18-$20, plus you pay different prices for different sizes because they are reusable. Who knew? They are eco-friendly; organic cotton; guaranteed to be plastic-, silicone- and GMO-free; sustainable; and never made with artificial honey. All these characteristics surely account for the rather expensive product pricing. They were even offered for gifts to people who appreciate the finer side of gourmetial foodiness.
Of course, I ordered a variety pack decorated with honeycombs for my daughter for Christmas and moved on to waxed paper. I remember waxed paper from my childhood when my grandmother and mom had to use waxed paper to wrap sandwiches, cheese, lunch meat, etc., in it because there was no such thing as cling wrap and tin foil was way too expensive to use. I found that the same waxed paper they used sells for less than $2 for a 75-foot roll, but I also found fancy waxed paper sheets with various designs printed on them for up to $20. These were not nearly as expensive as beeswax but were definitely not adorned with the new-age disclaimers. They were not reusable either! And worse yet, non-recyclable.
I moved along to check out the baking sheets and was surprised to see an even greater variety of products offered online. There were cheap papers and expensive papers. I found King Arthur’s Pre-Cut Natural & Unbleached Baking Parchment Paper, Heavy Duty, Nonstick, Reusable, Resealable Pack, Fits 18″ X 13″ Pan, 100 Count for $27.41. I thought here it is! This is the ultimate wrap for your expensive frommage, but then horror upon horrors, in the description I found that it is coated with SILICONE!!!
If you would care to read about these horrors, you can find everything you need to know about silicone cookware here: Pros and Cons of Silicone Cookware.
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