Saturday, October 25, 2008

Cooking with brown paper bags?

Yeah, me, and a cooking question. So often times my wife has Food Network on the TV. Sometimes watching, and sometimes just as background noise. I've noticed now, having seen exactly two episodes of Cooking for Real, that the cook on that show likes to use brown paper bags. Once for a fried chicken recipe and now for an oyster recipe. She just uses them to batter things, which I get. Except my problem here is that I can't find a sanitary brown paper bag anywhere. In quick google searches I have found recommendations to not use brown paper bags for the popular turkey recipe out there because they might combust and aren't sanitary. I've found places that sell brown paper bags, but none that list any as sanitary for cooking.

I know if you're just going to deep fry everything that you're not going to get any bacteria from the bag, but what about good old-fashioned dirt and/or bag material or even chemicals from the recycling process? You're eating that stuff. Now, I know that you can get a lot of different fried goods at the State Fair, but I don't think they are yet selling fried dirt or fried brown paper bags. And no, I don't plan to cook, much less with a brown paper bag. It's just something that bugs me to see repeatedly on TV.

Yes, I know it's been two weeks since my last blog. I'll do better, I promise.


Shelley said...

There might be a small fortune in making brown-paper-style bags from a safe alternative like kitchen parchment paper. If you'll put your R&D staff to work on that, I'll be happy to test.

The only time I can remember using a regular old brown bag in the kitchen (besides from drinking my Ripple) is in making caramel popcorn. The benefit of not having to clean up a sticky caramel mess almost balances out eating whatever yuck you pick up from the bag.

Nice post diversity, by the way.

Donnie Barnes said...

I made the brown paper bag post and later we went to Grandfather Mountain. We were in a snacky mood around 3pm and went in the cafe in the nature museum. They had popcorn, so we ordered two "boxes" (from the menu). What did we get? Two small brown paper bags of popcorn.

How likely is that on the SAME DAY as my post? I should have asked if they had any sanitary containers, but alas, we took them and we ate it. Well, most of it...Kevin spilled much of his. Ugh.

Shelley said...

I would have liked to been there when they handed you that brown paper bag of popcorn. It's as though you conjured it.

Lis said...

I use a regular old grocery bag when I make caramel popcorn - put the popcorn in, dump on the caramel, and shake. It works like a charm.

I take your point with the potential contaminants, but maybe the amounts are too miniscule. I love eating popcorn out of a paper bag :)

samwyse said...

I use small brown paper bags for popcorn all the time. You can buy them almost anywhere for "brown-bagging" your lunch, and I assume that they're pretty clean when they're fresh from the factory. I would hope that the process used to make them leaves them relatively sterile.

I'm not familiar with the turkey recipe, but if I go to the grocery there are packs of unused bags that I doubt have ever been touched by human hands. If I need a bag to cook a turkey, I'll bring home an unused bag, still folded up, not use one that was previously used for carrying groceries. The store where I usually shop actually charges you a nickel per bag, so I won't even feel guilty about "stealing".