Can Trader Joe's read my mind?
Two weeks ago, I unfurled the very last bits of what had been two jumbo boxes of Costco's Kirkland brand Stretch-Tite plastic cling wrap — it only took me 18 months to get through the rolls — dumped the cardboard box and roller in the recycling bin, and immediately became conflicted about buying a replacement. Like many of us, I am trying quit my first-world plastic habits — refusing straws, trying bar shampoo, hauling my reusable bags to the grocery store, and generally recycling and reusing like a mad woman.
Instead of plastic wrap, I doubled down on my dependable roll of aluminum foil — recyclable but still a single-use product — and made a mental note to start looking for some of those waxed sheets I have read about.
So, like some crazed Black Friday shopper, I actually squealed when I saw these Waxed Cotton Food Wraps sitting on the "New Arrivals" shelf of my local Trader Joe's.
"I know," said a woman standing next to me, witness to my embarrassing gasp. "I came down because a friend just posted about them." (Here we both paused for a beat reveling in finding a kindred consumer.) "They're actually easy to make," she said, giving me the rundown on infusing cotton with beeswax and an essential oil. "But these are here."
I grabbed a pack and brought them home. The $8.99 set contains three sheets; small (7x7 inches), medium (12x12 inches), and large (16x16 inches).
Made in Tunisia — like the store's popular fouta dishtowels — the label says they are "100 percent cotton infused with beeswax, jojoba oil, and pine resin." Pine resin has antibacterial properties, although I am unsure if the (unstated) amount used here could have that effect. Nevertheless, the sheets do have a very slight and pleasant pine-ish scent. Additional instructions advised against using on raw meats or microwaving.
Their maiden voyages were covering the remains of a cereal bowl full of baby carrots (the 7-inch cloth worked well for this) that my husband and I had had as hors d'oeuvres (aka something to gnaw on while we milled around the kitchen making dinner on a Sunday night); folded around a generous slice of banana bread in my daughter's lunch (the 12-inch option); and generously covering leftover lasagna in a standard 9x13-inch baking pan. The wax wrap was stiffer than I imagined and didn't quite cling as tightly as I thought it might to the sides of my cereal bowl and baking pan. (I might not have warmed it enough with my hands.) Regardless, two days later, the carrots were still moist and didn't have that white-ish coating dried-out carrots get. The lasagna and banana bread (reportedly) were fine, too.
Time will tell if these are true kitchen keepers. For now I am enthused to keep rinsing with dish soap and cold water as recommended and re-using. Every use makes them a better investment than more plastic wrap.