Alexis Yildir on tue 27 may 03
I don't know if you have heard of Bernard Loiseau - a member of Gault et Millot and the Micheline guide, top chef - recently came to the attention of North America for having taken his own life, allegedly because he was about to lose a star with one or the other of the above-mentionned two guides (or perhaps not...) In any case, I have been happily and very slowly reading a book he wrote with Gerard Gibert called Trucs de cuisinier. Just as Clayart started to dicuss the care of a teapot, I turned the page to read (please forgive my loose translation) "The teapot is very important and how it is used is even more important! Never wash the teapot. After use, content yourself with rinsing it with hot water and turning it upside down to drip dry before its next use." So if you are of French extraction, voila the last word on the subject as far as the Hexagon is concerned. This advice sounds quite similar to that given by my tea drinking Great Aunts of English extraction.
In a similar vein, I enjoyed an Atlantic Monthly article last summer about cheese making using wooden (US and probably Canadian authoriteis frown on such dirty materials) containers. On the other hand, the stainless steel equivalents suggested actually overwhelmed the cheese with bacteria. Turns out the wood harbours a 'good' bacterium' that attacks and subdues the 'bad' bacteria that would otherwise render the cheese dangerous. Sometimes, the old masters knew what they were doing, even if they did not have any PhD's in biology or the slightest idea of what was happening at a bacterial level. Hurrah for raw cheese and bon appetit to clayart.