Monday, November 26, 2012

Wax Paper and Sandwich Bags

You'd think that with the advent of plastic film wraps (after World War II--it was originally called "eonite" after an indestructible material in the Little Orphan Annie comic strip and then was a greasy dark green  that the military sprayed on fighter planes to protect them from water and corrosion damage) wax paper (so-called because it consists of paper with a wax coating--I just love the simplicity of the name) would have gone the way of the dodo, but not so fast there, Sunny Jim! Wax paper is alive and well

Wax paper had its origins in antiquity as oiled parchment which was used by butchers to wrap meat. It was also used as a translucent material for windows since glass was so expensive. A method for applying purified paraffin to paper about 1876.

I remember my mom wrapping my lunch sandwiches in wax paper , which were then put into a paper lunch bag. Very biodegradable. The ZipLoc bag came along in about 1968, and I packed my own sandwiches (I am a terrible sandwich maker, even with decades of practice) in them. Bit of family lore here: when Amy was young, she heard "Zip Loc" as "Loc Boc," so to this day we called them "loc boc bags."

The point is (and I do have one) wax paper continues to have its uses. Here's an article with 14 uses for wax paper: We also use it to cover food in the microwave so it doesn't splatter, to slide furniture and to put on Nacho the Cat's tray for her food since she is a senior cat and finds it harder to eat from a bowl there days.

I'm sure you have your own stories of wax paper, and I hope you'll share them with me. And for me, for now, that's a...wait for it...wrap!


  1. I love 19th century novels in which characters wrap their lunches in oil cloth.

  2. I do what my mom taught me. When preparing baked goods, I sift the dry ingredients onto a piece of wax paper. Then I funnel the paper, and pour the dry ingredients into the bowl containing the wet ingredients. No need to "dirty" up two bowls. I also use wax paper to wrap foods, collect scraps, and prevent messes in the microwave. Occasionally, I run my iron over wax paper to keep the surface slippery. It's a great product!

  3. Thanks for your comment. I'll try this!