The Invention of Parchment Paper
A history lesson on our beloved parchment paper just seemed a fitting place to begin to understand why we love this convenient cooking product so very much.
While the technical invention of such a product can be difficult to pinpoint, we do know that for much of history, animal skin was the basis of what we now use parchment paper for.
It is only in the 19th century that we see the rise of non-animal-based parchment, and thus the beginning of the parchment paper we know today. In 1847 French scientists Jean-André Poumarède and Louis Figuier discovered the treatment process to create parchment paper.
The original parchment paper was created by dipping paper into concentrated sulfuric acid mixed with water, that is then washed in water and ammonia.
Voila! The perfect tool for early century cooking is born and the beginnings of the parchment paper we know and love today are achieved.
Modern Parchment Paper
As you may or may not know, modern parchment paper is silicone coated, making it the perfect accessory for the kitchen.
Silicone material was first introduced to the public in 1943 used primarily for aircrafts. Silicone gained its popularity due to its versatility in form and use, as well as its durability in extreme temperature, hence its use in cooking.
From beauty products to medical tools to the kitchen, silicone is an ideal material though sometimes more expensive than its counterparts.
But why is it so great in the kitchen? So much so that aside from parchment paper, many utensils and dish-ware are silicone based as well?
Not only is silicone heat resistant, it is also stain-resistant, non-corrosive, and most importantly-- safe! For decades, silicone has been questioned for its chemical-based qualities and often still is in many products.
While controversy remains, silicone in parchment paper is food-safe and will not leak any chemicals into the food it is cooked with.
So not to worry! Your perfect silicone-coated cooking solution isn't going anywhere.
While the exact evolution of the parchment paper of today is fairly broad, we can appreciate where we started and recognize that cooking may have never been the same if limited to animal membrane-based cooking sheets.
When you take a look around your kitchen and prepare that delicious cake or that easy chicken recipe, stop to appreciate all of the wonderful gadgets and tools we have in the kitchen today, and all of the many things we can do with them, too!