Thursday, December 01, 2005

Salt....so simple yet so important...

The only reason I can get away with writing this post is that my mother has no idea I have a blog. Thank God.

Growing up, my mom taught cooking classes. One of her golden rules was never to cook with salt, only to add it in at the end to taste in order to reduce sodium content. This is/was/will never be a good idea. However, she is still cooking for the natural foods market I work for and I occasionally pick a dish of hers from our hot case and I instantly know: not an pinch of salt was added to this food at any point in its preparation. Yuck, yuck and more yuck.

So, of course, I am of a very different school of thought. My friend taught me the amazing guilty pleasure of salting pizza, salting salsa and the wonderful invention of salt cellars. Get this, mom, tiny beautiful bowls of salt lying all over your kitchen. I adore kosher salt because of it's lovely feel in your fingers and it's flakiness. Sea salt is so good I could eat it by the pinch and I've recently found a mineral sea salt called "Real Salt" that is lovely as well but tastes a bit like dirt, but in a good way. One true sin...not using salt but using iodized salt. Ick.

One of my favorite Martha shows (yes, I adore Martha) is the one where she puts out all the different salts and talks about how differently they all taste. What an epiphany for me! It is still difficult for me to salt as I cook, I can almost hear my mother's voice BUT I ignore it.

Besides, what is the point of eating healthy delicious perfectly prepared vegetables if they don't taste good? And no one can convince me that roasted asparagus does not taste better if you liberally salt it before you roast it.

So, here I go to look for more pretty salt bowls, and some different salts. Hopefully in Paris this winter I'll be able to bring back some lovely salt.