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newspaper as cooking vessel, and its ink

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newspaper as cooking vessel, and its ink

Daniel C | Apr 17, 2002 04:20 AM

I posted the following query to my local newspaper publishers, but I don't know how long I'd have to wait to get an answer, if at all. So, I'm sharing my query with you fine folks, and perhaps an alacritous Hound might help me and a bunch of equally curious readers in one shot.

An episode of The Naked Chef illustrated wrapping a whole salmon with herbs and lemon in a bunch of newspaper, tying this package securely with twine, soaking the whole in water, and placing the water-logged, newspaper bundle over a grill to cook. After 25 minutes on each side, the effect is a salmon steamed in herbs and lemon.

I'm inspired to prepare this dish. However, I wonder about the ink used in newspaper. Although I have no qualms about newspaper as a fat soaker, ad hoc food container, or fish wrapper, I don't know of any other occasion where particulates of burned ink may be of high concentration in the cooking steam. Is this ink safe to consume? Or can anyone testify that the concentration of ink in the steam is low enough that it just doesn't matter?

I expect the answer to vary from region to region, since I believe the ink used at one publisher in, say, New York, is different from a local paper printed in, say, Timbuktu. That said, I am most interested in newspapers available in Southern California, such as the Orange County Register, LA Times, or any of the smaller local papers.

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