Finally, a plastic wrap that doesn’t treat you like garbage

Photo: Marnie Shure
Rec RoomRec RoomHearty recommendations from The Takeout staff.

The typical line of questioning opened up again this past Christmas as soon as I had delivered my annual homemade treats to friends and family (this year it was imitation Thin Mints). “Those cookies were good,” they’d follow up a few days later, “But more importantly, what was covering the plate?”

And just like that, I had converted another crop of Press’n Seal fans into the fold.

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I try my best to employ reusable containers whenever possible, but sometimes you want to go the extra mile, and decorative “Season’s Greetings” plates don’t come with their own lid. In much the same way that many dish towels don’t actually dry anything and fold-top sandwich bags spill their contents with little provocation, most plastic wraps on the market frankly suck at doing their job; I grew up dreading the task of extracting a sheet of plastic wrap from its saber-toothed box only to have it slingshot backward onto itself, then carefully picking apart its edges again so that I could try to blanket it over a plate or bowl I knew full well it would never adhere to. In frustration, I even secured it with Scotch tape more than once.

Those days are behind me, thanks to a miracle product that is bafflingly little-known among the most dedicated cooks and bakers in my life. Glad Press’n Seal, which hit the market in August 2003, features a stippled surface that sticks to the touch, but it’s not sticky-sticky—for lack of a better comparison, it feels sort of like your finger is one half of a velcro fastener. My kitchen life contains a distinct “before Press’n Seal” and “after Press’n Seal” era, and I’m not alone; though its slightly higher price point might be what keeps it a niche product, those who have seen its powers become fast devotees.

No slingshotting out of the box, no crumpling into inextricable wads. Best of all, it creates a tight enough seal against itself that many people use it to form baggies and pouches for food or other sundries. It comes adorned with festive holiday patterns, if that’s your jam. And with its strong track record of impressing the uninitiated, it almost doesn’t matter how thoroughly average the cookies beneath it might be.

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