ramonasaur wants to know: Why do some cheeses come wrapped in a plantain leaf or other pieces of nonedible greenery? Does it serve a function, or is it just decoration?

thimes has a theory: Fresh cheeses used to be offered at the market wrapped in leaves—and in some areas, they still are—as an indicator of freshness. “If the leaf was old, rotten, or shriveled you knew the cheese wasn’t fresh,” thimes says.

So think of these bits of greenery as an ancient form of a “sell by” date!

Discuss: why are some cheeses wrapped in plantain leaves?

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