Salt, and more Salts: The First Crystal

 

Promising that this may not be an exhaustive site, but hoping to share something new or interesting, one or two salts at a time.

Iodized sea salt in black plate
Iodized sea salt. Photography by Wayne Stanley.

Let us start with sea salt and table salt.

Sea salt is produced by the evaporation of water from seawater or saltwater lakes, and little processing. Table salt is mined from subterranean salt deposits.

The differences between sea salt and table salt can be found in their coarseness, color, processing, taste, and texture. Notably, the more processing, the more trace minerals, and elements, are extracted.

Sea salt and table salt have the same basic nutritional value, despite the fact that sea salt is often promoted as being healthier. The sodium content is about the same in sea and tablet salt, but most table salt also has added iodine, that helps maintain a healthy thyroid. Table salt usually contains an additive to prevent clumping. Use both, and you’ll be fine.

Salt never gets old, so it can be stored for years. Bacteria don’t grow in salt. In fact, salt has been used for centuries as a preservative. 

The earliest recorded history of salt use, in 6000BC,  is by the Chinese, and Lake Yuncheng gave birth to the earliest salt works.

The Egyptians also highly valued salt, and put it to a myriad of uses, from preserving food to mummification. Salt from the Natrun riverbed, they called Netjry, and Natron as we know it. These archived records reach back to 4000BC.

The power of love, laughter and… persillade

This is a heartwarming story. It resonates with my passionate pursuit of sharing good food, that is well seasoned (love the persillade), with good companions.

Source: The power of love, laughter and… persillade

Thank you to Stéphane at My French Heaven. Take a look.

 

Probiotic Foods

Probiotics are the live bacteria and yeasts that are essential to maintain our health.They are essential for our digestive system. A question that crosses our minds, is that bacteria and yeasts are associated with illnesses, which is true. However our bodies have both good and bad bacteria and yeasts, and probiotics are the good ones.

Probiotics are usually taken as supplements, but consider that there are foods that are probiotics.

These foods include aged cheeses, miso soup, sauerkraut, Kimchi, and Tempeh. Continue reading “Probiotic Foods”

Gastrosexual

So here is a trending gastronomical term, gastrosexual.
The Urban Dictionary defines gastrosexual, as “A term used to describe men who cook, taking the household chore part away from it, and turning it more into a hobby, used to impress friends and prospective partners. More and more, women are finding a partner’s ability to cook as important as other attractive features (looks, personality, status, income, etc.)”
 My own definition: “To cook, the man likes, and happy, his wife is.” it helps if you imagine Yoda speaking.
Am I gastrosexual? “Certainly, I am.” Surely, this makes me worth my salt?

“Everything in moderation” is a poor principle to base one’s diet on

US study suggests that broader dietary variety is linked to lower quality and worse metabolic health.

Source: “Everything in moderation” is a poor principle to base one’s diet on

Salt, the Expensive Seasoning.

 

 

Salt has become the expensive seasoning, as it is necessary to attend an expensive restaurant to experience it.

In fact, adequate seasoning is also becoming scarce, unless you are prepared to pay for it. The familiar salt cellar is no longer to be found on the tables of most restaurants nowadays, even though the pepper grinder still appears.

Most chefs do have the skill of salting and seasoning their food well, and are not the one’s to blame for this new travesty. This practice is  expected of chefs by a good-intentioned, misguided public, that a low sodium diet requires it. The low sodium diet is not even based on sound medical evidence.

I remember watching Chef Mark McEwan, of North 44, One, Bymark, Fabbrica and McEwan Grocery, Catering and Prepared Meals fame, on TV, during his catering show, training the sous chefs to season everything well, down to each leaf in the salad, emphasizing  that nothing unseasoned should land on the plate. In fact, he advocated seasoning the garnish too, although having garnishes on a plate merely for the sake of garnish, is a topic for another day.

So many functions, come to mind, where I was served a starter salad, that consisted of some nondescript leaves, with a few splashes, and I mean a few only, of dressing drizzled on the top. Now, there is no way that I can toss this salad at the table without half of it ending up on the tablecloth, and is pointless, as there isn’t enough seasoning/dressing anyway.

Ponder the thought of a simple egg without salt, rice without salt, or potato chips without salt, and you may remark that it goes without saying, that those need to be salted. Well, shouldn’t every other ingredient in the culinary world be treated with the same respect?