Well if I’m going to have an earworm, that’s a good one to have…
“You are the salt of the Earth,
You are the salt of the Earth,
But if that salt has lost it’s flavor it ain’t got much in it’s favor.
You can’t have that fault and be the salt of the Earth.”
Speaking of salt, one of my pet peeves is something my sweet spousal unit does at nearly EVERY SINGLE MEAL. Before ever taking a bite of anything I have cooked, he will grab a salt shaker and liberally dose his plate. He is not the only one who does this, I’ve seen folks in very nice restaurants receive their food and before tasting anything at all, they grab that salt shaker and salt away.
It is everything I can do not to scream.
Before y’all get the wrong idea, I am a HUGE proponent of salt. I LOVE salt. I buy and use a TON of salt, (Kosher, coarse sea salt, Fleur de sel, etc.) I have absolutely no problems with the sodium in my diet, but I almost NEVER EVER salt the food on my plate before eating it. The notable exception here is freshly sliced garden tomatoes.
Instead, I use salt on food before and during the cooking process. Why? Because the liberal application of salt to food, or to cooking liquid, actually intensifies the flavors of the food being cooked. Look up the term “osmosis.” Salting a food before it is cooked or the water that a food is being cooked in causes the water in the food to be expelled and that allows for flavors to intensify.
I liberally salt raw meat and let it sit a bit before cooking. I put salt in all of my baked recipes, I even add at least a pinch of salt to every dessert recipe I make. The water I use to cook vegetables or pasta is salted to the point of tasting like the ocean before the food ever goes in it. Salt ENHANCES flavor… but it enhances flavor most if applied BEFORE or DURING cooking.
Also take into account that there are ingredients in dishes that are inherently salty (Parmesan, feta, anchovies…). These ingredients do the same job that an application of Kosher does. Ever have spaghetti sauce that seemed a little bland? Add a little Parmesan as it heats up, and taste the magic.
Add salt after cooking and all you taste is… salt.
Now, as I said, there are exceptions. Tomatoes? Slice them thick, salt, drizzle a little high quality olive oil and I’m a happy girl. Watermelon and cantaloupe both benefit from a little sprinkle of salt. Sushi gets it’s extra YUM from the salt in soy sauce… but these foods are fresh/raw. By the way, lemon juice has many of the same abilities. If you have high blood pressure, or need to limit sodium, try lemon juice on your food. It really brightens up the flavor and “wakes up” your taste buds. Your more sensitive taste buds register more of the taste in your food and you get a more flavorful bite!
And I agree that sometimes (especially during certain monthly events) we just crave something salty. I’m all about salted caramels, and I am not ashamed to admit that I have salted BROWNIES to satisfy two cravings at once. Just keeping it real, y’all.
So, what to do? Shall I hide the salt shaker? Tell him I’ve already salted his food? Eat in another room from my spouse? Never go out to eat again?
Is there a tasteless salt look-alike that I can put in the tabletop shaker to fake out the heavy salters who eat with me? Help me out Internets, you may be the only hope left for my salty sanity.
Have a delicious weekend, folks!