Fair question. Parchment paper, which is an odorless, tasteless, and greaseproof paper, has a variety of uses in the kitchen. You will often line the bottom of a cake pan with parchment paper to keep a cake from sticking to the bottom. Sometimes you will butter and flour the pan and then butter and flour the parchment paper for the ultimate in cake-releasing insurance.

Parchment paper can also be used to wrap foods that are baked in the oven for a presentation called en papilotte (the food steams in the wrapping, the parchment puffs up into a dome, and the parchment is cut open at the table for a grand presentation). Pastry chefs also use parchment paper to make quick and cheap pastry bags for piping icing.

It is available in gourmet stores and many supermarkets, sold by the roll, but also in very convenient 8-inch and 9-inch precut rounds that are perfect for lining your springform pan. If you can’t find parchment paper, use waxed paper. It is available online from one of our retail vendors, .