Salt: We Found Out Why and How to Properly Use This Common Household Essential
Salt used properly is an art in itself. First of all, salt has a greater impact on flavor than any other ingredient. According to chef Samin Norsrat and author of the book; Salt Fat Acid Heat.
Most of us are a bit timid with our salt use. We’ve been indoctrinated with tales of salt use leading to poor health. While eating out poses these hazards, the use of salt in home cooking tends to be more conservative.
There are many different kinds of salt to choose from these days. Common table salt, or granular salt is found in salt shakers everywhere. Table salt often contains anti-caking agent to prevent clots from forming, or dextrose, a form of sugar, to stabilize the iodine. Though neither of these additives are harmful, there’s no reason to add them to your food.
Iodized salt as a rule can make everything taste like the metallic. There is also kosher salt. This is traditionally used in koshering, the traditional Jewish process by which blood is removed from meat. Kosher salt contains no additives, and its taste is very pure. Chef Nostat’s choice is Diamond crystal salt. This is because it readily adheres to foods and crumbles easily.
Morton salt is a much denser salt. And almost twice as salty by volume. So when using, make sure to note the specific brand that you purchase.
Sea salt is a salt that is left behind once the water evaporates. These can be quite pricey but they have a delightful texture so try to use them in a way that stands out.
We thought we would share a few salt facts:
- A smaller amount of salt applied while cooking will often do more to improve flavor than a larger amount added at the table.
Salt enhances sweetness while reducing bitterness in foods that are both bitter and sweet, such as bittersweet chocolate, coffee ice cream, or burnt Caramels.
According to author Nosrat we typically turn to sugar to balance out better flavors in the sauce for soup, but it turns out that salt masks bitterness much more effectively than sugar. See for yourself with things like grapefruit juice which is both bitter and sweet. Taste a spoonful, then add a pinch of salt and taste again. You’ll be surprised at how much the bitterness subsides.