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.

2 Comments:

Anonymous kara said...

i am a true believer of everything in moderation. once you start depriving yourself of something it only makes you want it even more!

there is a wonderful article that was published in the SF Chronicle Oct. 2004, that gives not only a salt glossary on types of salt from basic iodized and table salt to alaea salt from hawaii that is mixed with volcanic red clay and turns a lovely pink color to a Danish viking smoked sea salt that is made by smoking sea salt over a wood fire.

there are also tips, recipe ideas, and beautiful color photos as well as web resources for purchase.

http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2004/10/06/FDG7H911FA1.DTL&hw=Special+Salts&sn=001&sc=1000

i think that collecting salt bowls is a wonderful idea, and i wish i had brought some back with me from london in september. there were so many places that sold really interesting dishware, and i kept thinking "there is no way i could fit any of this in a suitcase!" but a tiny salt dish would have fit for sure. luckily all the things i missed out on then will not be missed the second time around. (even if we are soaked the whole week!!) and to have assorted salt bowls scattered throughout the kitchen in different shapes and sizes and filled with different types of salt... i love it!

however, i do not recall salting salsa!!! pizza on the other hand, that i do!

10:57 AM  
Anonymous kara said...

you can click on my name to get to the article, as the link within the post didn't come through!

10:58 AM  

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