I remember a French friend being as astonished by the fact that we can find cheesecloth in our supermarkets as I was by the fact that hers routinely carry ready-made all-butter puff pastry. Cheesecloth, which looks somewhat like first-aid gauze, is great for tying up a bouquet garni, straining anything really fine, and making a wondrous Coeur à la Crème (page 424-26). In general, it’s a good thing to moisten the cheesecloth and squeeze out the excess water before using it — it helps make it even less porous.

Dorie Greenspan