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Papier sulfurisé — Wikipédia says that this is the equivalent of the English "parchment paper", and the description seems to be for the same product.

Le papier sulfurisé est un papier traité de manière à être imperméable et à résister aux hautes températures. Il est parfois aussi appelé papier tartines. En Amérique du Nord, on l'appelle généralement papier parchemin.

But Walmart uses that term for "wax paper": company website screenshot depicts brand logo over an image of the product, labeled "wax paper - papier sulfurisé"

and calls parchment paper "Papier parchemin".

picture of product labeled with generic brand, "parchment paper- papier parchemin"]

In English, "wax paper" and "parchment paper" are both used for cooking and baking, but they are quite different products.

Is "Papier sulfurisé" wax paper or parchment paper? What is right and who is wrong?

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  • Could you include the descriptions of the items from each source to make this a one stop shop question?
    – livresque
    Mar 10, 2023 at 23:20
  • @livresque, thanks. I've made the confusion more obvious now. Mar 10, 2023 at 23:40

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There is a difference between wax (or waxed) paper and parchment paper in the kitchen. "Who is right" depends on the description of the item. There's le papier ciré/papier paraffiné and there's le papier parchemin/sulfurisé/siliconé. In North America, the former often comes in a roll like Saran/plastic wrap and is subject to different temperatures and purposes than the latter. Parchment paper, le papier parchemin ou le papier sulfurisé can take higher temperatures. Lately it's sold more in sheets. I would want to see a picture and description of what a merchant calls each before cooking or wrapping.

Here's an an explanation from a cooking ed site:

Le papier parchemin est aussi appelé « papier de cuisson », « papier siliconé » ou « papier sulfurisé ». Il s’agit d’un papier traité à l’acide sulfurique. Ce traitement rend le papier moins poreux, plus dense, imperméable à l’eau et surtout, résistant à la chaleur. Le papier est aussi enduit de silicone qui le rend antiadhésif.

Le papier ciré (ou « paraffiné ») est un papier de soie qui est enduit d’une mince couche de paraffine, un sous-produit de l’industrie pétrolière. Cela lui procure une certaine imperméabilité et le rend antiadhésif, mais pas autant que le papier parchemin. De plus, le papier ciré ne remplace pas le papier parchemin pour la cuisson au four, car la paraffine fond et dégage une fumée désagréable, même à 180 °C (355 °F).

In one sentence, this épicerie says:

Donc, pour résumer, le papier parchemin est pour les applications à chaud et le papier ciré est pour le froid.

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  • Right. That's my understanding too. But Walmart seems to have created a new term "Papier parchemin", and changed "Papier sulfurisé" to refer to the other product. Mar 10, 2023 at 23:44
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    Mall wart does whatever it wants, unfortunately. I'll look into the hypernym next and regional usage.
    – livresque
    Mar 11, 2023 at 1:01
  • I've never heard of "papier ciré" or "parchemin" (disclaimer: I'm not a very talented cook ;) but I can confirm you with a high level of confidence that "papier sulfurisé" is the one you use for cooking in the oven in France. Mar 28, 2023 at 15:16

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