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Buying Cheesecloth


Josho
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So now that I'm making large quantities of soups and sauces at home, I find myself wanting more (and cheaper) cheesecloth than what I find in those pricey little packages at the supermarket.

Other than buying a 60-yard box via the internet, how do home chefs address this?

I've shopped at the local fabric store -- the cheesecloth they sell, while cheap, is not nearly as wide as the huge bulk boxes, and it's bleached, which doesn't sound right. (It's also a VERY loose weave, making me question how useful it would be.)

I've been told that some chefs use muslin rather than cheesecloth. But I've looked at rows and rows of muslin, and it seems like it's fairly dense...at least 100 thread count. I haven't found any muslin that's especially loose.

I'd be interested to hear what frequent users of cheesecloth do for their supply.

--Josh

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Check your local paint supply store...

So we finish the eighteenth and he's gonna stiff me. And I say, "Hey, Lama, hey, how about a little something, you know, for the effort, you know." And he says, "Oh, uh, there won't be any money. But when you die, on your deathbed, you will receive total consciousness."

So I got that goin' for me, which is nice.

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I agree almost completely with Rob, with one exception -- a bunch of herbs/spices in a broth or soup or sauce, in which case, I just tie them in a coffee filter.

However, if you have your heart set on cheesecloth, consider cheap flour sack dishclothes -- I have used them before, but then again, I empty the contents, rise and wash them.

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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I like those touristy linen teacloths. After a while, they get very thin, and are just right for straining cheese and various other purposes. Not disposable, though.

Similar to the coffee-filter idea, In Japan, I can get a kind of fill-your-own teabag, which allows me to put herbs, seeds etc. straight into a pot of liquid. I am not sure how easy they are to find in other countries.

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If you just want something for a herb bundle in soups and stews, why not grab one of these. I see Lee Valley no longer carries them but they are available elsewhere. I use one of these and some muslim (Andie's suggestion) for straining stock, yogourt, etc.

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

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"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

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You should be able to fine 100% cotton unbleached muslin at a fabric store. Ask for it, they often have it stuck in with the interlining stuff, buckram and etc.

It will feel stiff while on the bolt. You have to wash it because it is loaded with sizing. Wash it twice then run through the washer one more time with no soap or any other additives.

Dry it on the lowest setting and it's best if you remove it while a bit damp and hang it to dry completely (or if you have a place hang it to dry right out of the washer).

It will shrink! A lot! Especially if dried with heat.

However it will last for years, if not decades. I have some that I bought before I moved up here in 1988 and although a bit frayed around the edges, it has seen a lot of use and is still hanging together. If it gets stained from berries or ??, I simply soak it in a bowl of bleach solution, rinse and wash with my dishtowels.

Muslin, unbleached 100% cotton.

You can also order butter muslin., which is a slightly looser, fine weave, from cheesemaking suppliers.

Edited by andiesenji (log)

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Good advice given !!!

A coffee filter (nouet) works in a pinch for a bouquet garni, and a commercial size coffee filter (blanchet) in a strainer or chinois.

-Jimmy

Typos are Copyrighted @

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I don't know if they still sell these, but years ago I got a bunch of super cheap diapers that have just been the perfect weave for draining yogurt, squeezing out grated potatoes, and all sorts of other stuff. These are not multilayered or waffled or anything, just flat, white, moderately loosely woven cotten. They're great.

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Yes, the "Curity" diaper material works very well and was a kitchen favorite for many years.

The same goes for the "flour-sack" and "feed-sack" materials that were a kitchen/household staple, especially for farm wives, for decades during the 20th century.

100% cotton is, by its very nature, "food-grade" once the sizing (a vegetable-based starch) has been washed out of it. The fabrics range from gauze to duck or sailcloth the latter two being so tightly woven that they will actually hold water and are often made waterproof by having beeswax ironed into it.

I grew up on a farm in the '40s when material was scarce (the War effort) and everything had to be conserved. Jelly bags, strainers for stocks, etc., were made from feed or flour sacks and worked very well. Muslin was stretched on wood frames and beeswax was rubbed into it and then ironed to melt it into the weave to produce a wrap for storing cheeses and other stuff. We did not buy waxed paper because it was considered wasteful.

I have various types of chinois, strainers, china caps and tamis. However I still use a muslin jelly bag when I prepare jelly. Just call me old-fashioned.

Edited by andiesenji (log)

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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