Long a versatile kitchen helper, this lightweight natural cotton cloth won't fall apart when wet and will not flavor the food it touches. Cheesecloth has a multitude of culinary uses including straining liquids, forming a packet for herbs and spices (as with bouquet garni) that can be dropped into a soup or stock pot and lining molds (such as for coeur à la crème). It comes in both fine and coarse weaves and is available in gourmet shops, supermarkets and the kitchen section of many department stores. In Britain it's sometimes called butter muslin.
From The Food Lover's Companion, Fourth edition by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst. Copyright © 2007, 2001, 1995, 1990 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc.