Foodie Tuesdays, NaCl

Random Food by InkSpot's Blot
Random Food, a photo by InkSpot’s Blot on Flickr.

It may be a basic building block of life, and among the most ancient of seasonings, but that didn’t prevent me from hating salt as a kid. So much so that I wiped down each individual french fry, and made the best icky face whenever I saw my mom licking the salt off a margarita glass.

Some random salty facts: Salt has been harvested since at least 6050 BC. It’s been used not only as a seasoning agent, but also as a method of food preservation. Too much will kill you. So will too little. In the Middle Ages, salt was referred to as “white gold”. Suicide by salt was used among Chinese nobility back in the day.

I’m not sure when I had my epiphany. It might have happened as I gradually eliminated meat and most dairy from my diet. Whatever the case, my opinion toward salt has changed drastically.

While I do add a dash during the cooking process, I tend to save my salt for the end as a sort of garnish. This preserves the intensity of the flavor while minimizing the risk of over-salting a dish.

I’ve also become curious about the less banal variations. You can get it refined, coarse, flaky, Kosher, and smoked. Depending on where it was harvested and how it was processed, it can some in several different shades created by the mineral content profile.

Aaron made a sinful treat one morning. Blood orange sundaes with toasted sliced almonds. The key accent? The pinch of Fleur de Sel at the very end.


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