Cloth kitchen towels aren't just for drying dishes; they're often used for handling food, too. We wrap the Cream Scones from Fine Cooking #122 in a kitchen towel to soften them slightly. We also use them to roll up the Triple-Chocolate Roulade, Toasted Almond Raspberry Roll, and Carrot Cake Roulade. When choosing kitchen towels that will be in contact with food, keep the following in mind:
Look for towels made with natural fibers. Unlike synthetic fibers, linen and cotton breathe and will maintain the food's proper level of moisture by absorbing any excess and letting steam escape.
Choose a lint-free flat weave. Terry cloth is a bad choice for the kitchen because it gives off a lot of lint. While other cotton towels work well in the kitchen, linen towels are made of strong flax fibers that can withstand a lot of washing and drying, making them worth their higher price tag.
Use unscented laundry products when washing and drying kitchen towels. Otherwise, the food will pick up both the smell and the taste of scented detergents and fabric softeners.