Episode 95: Aluminum Foil, Parchment Paper, Wax Paper, and Saran Wrap

Tuesday, May 29, 2018
We are wrapping our food up in all the things that you find in that one drawer in your kitchen. We're talking about the history and science and design of aluminum foil, parchment paper, wax paper, and plastic wrap, specifically the Saran Wrap brand. You'll never look at those handy kitchen tools the same again.

Let's taco 'bout it!

Photo courtesy of Oscar Soderlund

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Let's taco 'bout it!

  • The company Tobler started to wrap their triangular-shaped chocolate Toblerone using the aluminum foil back in 1911. In the US, aluminum foil was used to wrap Lifesavers, candy bars and gum.
  • There is a shiny and a dull side of aluminum foil and a lot of people think it matters. It doesn't! It's a myth according to the Reynold's FAQ page, unless you are using the Non-Stick foil. The dull side has the non-stick properties, so put this toward the food.
  • There is a difference between parchment paper and wax paper. In a nutshell, parchment paper can have heat applied, while wax paper cannot have heat applied.
  • You can get Ruby Snap cookies frozen for later consumption!

Photo courtesy of Brooke Lark

  • Have you ever used the French cooking method en papillote? You can see how to do it here.
  • According to the American Cheese Society, wax paper is the preferred method for wrapping cheese.
  • Wax paper was used for centuries and it was made by coating paper with purified ear wax. That is SO gross! Have you seen this episode of Myth Busters? Ewww gross!
  • Why does Saran Wrap not stick as well? The original formula of Saran Wrap, also known as polyvinylidene chloride, was first discovered by the Dow Chemical Company by Ralph Wiley in 1933.
  • John Reilly (Ralph Wiley's boss) and Ralph developed the Saran Wrap product for food preservation in 1943.

Photo courtesy of Jason Leung

Run Time: 50 minutes

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