Torchons

I am addicted to online shopping! I see so many things that I would have reasons and excuses to buy. At times, I stay up till the wee hours of the morning, looking at so many sites! It’s sometimes a good thing, and most times… DANGEROUS!  

I found these 1930’s “torchons” online and I just had to have them! They’re pretty difficult to get nowadays and I was so glad I came across them. They will be most useful in my kitchen! “Torchons”, means cloth in French. Commonly called tea towels, there are many uses for them aside from drying dishes. Cooking “au torchon“, means, wrapping food in the cloth and tied securely with a kitchen string. (Cheesecloth is a widely used method). The food item may then be marinated, poached, or both. Using this method shapes the food and when used with ingredients such as foie gras, it stops all the fat from seeping out during the cooking process. They’re widely used in French dishes from vegetables to meats. (A side note: In Belgium, the word “torchon” refers to a RAG to clean the floors with!). Torchons come in different materials such as lace, linen, hemp, and other natural fibers. Natural fibers soften as it ages. Truly wonderful!

I find that wrapping vegetables and other produce keep longer than if kept in plastic wrap when stored in the refrigerator. I also noticed that they are widely used in food photography photos as well. It seems to give that softness and warmth.

This seller went the extra mile as she even sent candies as a “thank you” for my purchase from her shop. It really was such a nice touch! From my experience, smaller stores in Europe tend to still give that “extra touch” of writing to their customers when they send out the packages. It really gives a personal touch. High end boutiques still do it when you physically shop with them by sending you small handwritten notes through mail, but shopping online means the interaction is not physical, therefore, it gives the customer a wonderful feeling once they’ve received their item(s). This old marketing trick never fails. (It more than made up for the heavy taxes). I still love receiving handwritten notes from stores. If I had my own shop, I would probably be doing the same thing! 

Going back to the torchons, I found these “hard to come by” linen cloth 11 meters in length, uncut, and like new despite its age! (It came from an old farmhouse in France. I’m guessing the owner bought a whole bundle and would cut the fabric as needed). How exciting! I am looking forward to having them sewn so I can begin using them. With 11 meters, I believe I can have at least a dozen large size “torchons”. I’m thinking of sharing them with a few friends who love to be in their kitchens like me! As to packaging it, I have some ideas brewing and will update you…