Monday, February 3, 2014

The dowdiest wrap in the kitchen

It is wax paper, for several reasons. It is a kind of paper. It is far older than aluminum foil. It may bear the quaint name Cut-Rite. And it appears in John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath (1939):

At noon the tractor driver stopped sometimes near a tenant house and opened his lunch: sandwiches wrapped in waxed paper, white bread, pickle, cheese, Spam, a piece of pie branded like an engine part.
“Wax paper,” to my mind, is dowdier than “waxed paper.” (Older too: 1844 v. 1853.) “Wax” recalls wax beans, one of the dowdiest canned vegetables — and one of the most disturbing.

Related reading
All OCA “dowdy world” posts (Pinboard)

[For most American consumers, Cut-Rite is wax paper. When I make a sandwich to go, I always use Cut-Rite and foil. And yes, that tractor driver is destroying people’s livelihoods.]

comments: 2

Anonymous said...

I love that you spotlighted Cut-Rite waxed paper - a staple in my kitchen. (It does set my teeth on edge, however, when people call it "wax paper.")

It might be dowdy, but it is dependable!

Michael Leddy said...

I’ve always called it “waxed” myself, and I’m having second thoughts about “wax paper” sounding dowdier. Too much like “ice tea.”

I think dowdy is synonymous with dependable. :)