It’s Still Just Salt

mortons-saltI’ve been spending some of my free time reading up on my cooking magazines and cookbooks and generally anything on the net about cooking.  I came across an article today on Yahoo Shine about different types of salt and how to use them.  I didn’t realize there were actually at least six types of salt – I never counted to tell the truth.  My salt comes from a big blue box with the word Morton’s on it and a picture of a strange little girl in a yellow slicker holding an umbrella over her  head – like it’s raining salt.

I’m afraid I have something of a salt conundrum – to me salt is just salt.  Yahoo maintains Kosher salt is used for all cooking and chefs recommend it because its flavor disperses quickly.  I thought it had something to do with curing Jewish meat.  Otherwise, why call it Kosher?  The article maintains Kosher salt costs about $1 a pound.

Then there’s Crystalline Sea salt – it’s supposed to add a “pungent burst of flavor to just-cooked foods”  well, crap on a crutch why would you want your salt to add a  “pungent” flavor to anything? Don’t you just want it to taste salty?  The bad news is this stuff costs $15  a pound – ouch that’s just wrong to charge that much for some mineral that comes out of the earth.

How about Flaked Sea salt?  It’s supposed to impart a complex flavor to steamed veggies or shellfish and you should take a pinch of this salt and crush it between your fingers before letting it gently fall onto your food.  It’s about $6 a pound.

pinch-of-saltThis also brings up one of my pet peeves.  You see this on all the cooking shows – every chef has a little dish of salt and they constantly stick their fingers in this bowl and grab some salt and then liberally dose their food dishes with said salt.  Now my question is where have those fingers been before they went dipping into that bowl of salt?  Huh?  Think about it.  God made salt shakers for a reason – to keep grimy fingers out of the salt.

One of the last salt suggestions is Fleur de Sel which comes from coastal salt ponds in France.  I actually bought some of this once and guess what?  It tastes just like salt.   It runs about $45 for 35 ounces I understand.  I don’t remember mine costing that much coz I know I would Never spend that kind of money on salt.

Nah – just give me a shake or two of Morton’s on my popcorn and let’s leave the pretentiousness to Top Chef.

Oh and one more thing…Gordon Ramsay please stop touching the food before it leaves the kitchen – ick!

hellskitchenfaceinhands

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28 thoughts on “It’s Still Just Salt

  1. I LOVE LOVE LOVE sea salt! Mmmm licking lips now!

    PS thanks for the words of wisdom..I feel better already! MWAH
    I don’t get it – salt is salt; maybe it has something to do with the texture. I went back and read my comment and hoped you took it the right way – with love – so MWAH right back atcha sweetie! Friday will be better!

  2. Salt is salt. I’ve never had sea salt or kosher salt. Salt is salt!

    And let’s hope the chefs bleached their hands before sticking fingers in it.
    You may already have a twin, but I know in my heart we are sisters!! Salt is salt. Thank you.
    Between watching the cooking shows where they sweat into the cooking pot and then dipping their dirty fingers in the salt crock (the same fingers that have no doubt been up their noses) makes me want to never eat out again. Blechhhh.

  3. Salt is salt is salt… except when it’s around the rim of a real good Margarita, then it’s just plain tasty. 😉

    Can you tell this has been quite a day?
    I knew I liked you – I’m one of the few left who actually enjoy the salt on the rim – most people are too worried about the sodium content – heck the crap in the margarita alone will kill ya. LOL

  4. Dang it! It’s still not showing my link and I’ve messed and messed with the thing. Makes me glad you added me to your blogroll.
    There is a way to fix this – I just need to remember how – let me work on it Friday and I’ll email you my results. Hang tight baby – we’ll fix this – then you’ll get loads of trackbacks from comments. Hugs!

  5. I love salt, but I’m with you on this one… because it is what it is. Just salt.
    And now that you’ve written (and I’ve read) the word salt so much, it looks funny… Like a foreign word. Hate that. But still love salt. 😉
    It’s funny – Devoted Spouse loves salt and is one of those people who salt their food without first tasting it. Ick. I think once I gave up smoking (way back in 1992 thank you) I realized I had taste buds and I also realized that I was using too much salt. I slowly cut back until now I don’t really like salt much at all. Please tell me you are one of those strange people who put salt on canteloupe or any other type of melon. That one really mystifies me.

  6. I don’t think you guys have as refined a pallatte as me….but that could be from all Hubby’s education on salt….
    Oh I have a refined pallete I just use it for my paints. LMAO — Gawd I love my meds.

  7. Okay, I have been trying to figure out why you cannot post. I did see that when you ‘select a profile’ one of your choices is wordpress. When I use my wordpress I have to manually enter my e-mail address because it just puts in mruspole and no matter how many times I use it, I always have to do this for the first comment and then if I leave that page, I have to do it again. The one thing I did do, was take away where you have to type in those strange words, I hope this helps. I tried anonymous and it worked for me. Honest, check it out.

    Okay on to salt. I have a box of kosher salt, some mediterrean sea salt, and some Morton salt. I am not even sure why. I think Alton Brown did one of his shows about salt and so I bought them. I also have garlic salt. Oh okay, I know that does not count, but I just wanted to try anyway.

    I do use the kosher salt when I am boiling pasta or potatoes. It does not look like you can use it on cooked food. The sea salt has to be ground up if you want to use on cooked food. But the grinder thing it came in broke, so I just use it for cooking like the kosher salt. And I too thought kosher salt had something to do with being pure and blessed by the Rabi.

    Now that I think about it, how can I be buying those kosher hot dogs, if they do not eat pork. Do they eat pork? My jewish grandma has passed away and so I cannot ask her. Maybe I should of paid more attention, but we did not see much of her. Hmm, I am gonna have to check that one out.

    God bless.

    Oh, and my wifi was down and I finally had to hook up directly, hubby took the desktop to get fixed and won’t be done till tomorrow. We just got the older desktop tower upgraded and cannot get that one online just yet. I am so spoiled to take my laptop anywhere in the house. Tonight though it is a desktop.
    Let’s try an experiment…turn the “word” thingie feature back on — on Blogger comments that have that feature I always manage to get my comment published. Dog Girl’s “word” thingie isn’t on either. Ya don’t suppose it could be that easy? As for wordpress – I always put my address in – doesn’t matter to them. Now to salt: The only salt that I can see a difference would be Rock salt – and if Devoted spouse had used some of it in January on the driveway I might not have dislocated my shoulder. *sarcasm* *sigh* (sorry DS if you’re reading this – you know I TRULY don’t blame you)

  8. How else do you get the complex flavors in the expensive salt if the chefs don’t stick their fingers in the little bowls?
    I’m thinking those complex flavors have more to do with coughing and sneezing and teeny little bug pieces parts…ewwww

  9. According to Wikipedia, “Kosher salt gets its name not because it follows the guidelines for kosher foods as written in the Torah (nearly all salt is kosher, including ordinary table salt), but rather because of its use in making meats kosher, by helping to extract the blood from the meat. Because kosher salt grains are larger than regular table salt grains, when meats are coated in kosher salt the salt does not dissolve readily; the salt remains on the surface of the meat longer to draw fluids out of the meat.”

    I use Kosher salt exclusively to cook with – and yes, I’m a heathen and use my fingers to grab it out of the salt pig and apply it. For the few dishes that arrive at the table in need of salting – say, scrambled eggs – I have a grinder of sea salt. I haven’t used regular table salt in ages; the Kosher and sea salt don’t cake up in humid weather, it’s not as easy to over-salt something because of the larger grains (at least, that’s been my experience) and both last considerably longer than table salt.

    Or I could just be a salt snob. LOL

    Oh – and Kosher hot dogs are always made of beef.
    Well, I guess I’m just going to have to buy some Kosher salt and some sea salt and do my own taste test and I’ll let ya know what I discover!

  10. Hi Jan,

    Thank you for that info, I know that salt is very important for us all. I think I saw on the history channel where salt was fought over, and used so much in trading. Thank you for looking it up.

    I was wondering if the hot dogs were just beef, I was gonna read the ingredients the next time I went to the store. I only buy the kosher hot dogs and should know this. They taste better for some reason and this must be why. Plus I have heard that all kosher meat tastes better, something to do with the draining of the blood. Not sure why this is not done everywhere.

    Thank you again.
    Okay kids, let’s not start talking about draining of blood in my comments section please. LOL I eat turkey hot dogs coz I gave up beef – okay, they’re not the best, but I don’t eat them often anyway.

  11. I wish I could get some of that Valium. I once had a bottle prescribed to me and I felt the best I have ever felt. But then I got this new doctor right after and he would not give me any more. He does not believe in it. I wish I had your doctor. Sigh.
    My doctor is not afraid to prescribe anything that will help and he’s known me for 20 years – he knows I don’t abuse meds so if he says I need 10 mg (knock me outta here) of Valium several times a day for these spasms then that’s what I will do. I looooooove my doctor. I always make him tell me he loves me too before he leaves (I really think making your doctor smile is a good thing – they put up with so much stress). So you need to find another doctor baby. Or I understand you can order this stuff online from China and Mexico…(they’re little light yellow pills, the blue ones are viagra baby – be careful). LOL

  12. Don’t eat melon, so nope, I don’t salt it! LOL
    But I do salt pizza (usually).
    Well, I add liberal amounts of parmesan cheese to my pizza and it has lots of salt so I guess I salt my pizza, too.

  13. Like Jan, I too use sea salt to cook with as well as on the table. I like the taste better, perhaps because it’s alkaline. I started using it because of it’s health benefits.

    Sea salt is processed more naturally, usually just dried out in the sun. Overuse of table salt can lead to salt retention in the body, which can lead to high blood pressure and kidney failure.

    My husband who eats salt on everything, had high blood pressure. Notice I said “had high blood pressure”. I don’t know if that is what lowered it as he’s doing a lot different health wise. He struggled for years but is now off medication completely.

    One thing sea salt does not have is iodine, which is added to table salt. If you don’t eat iodine rich foods, spinach, sea vegetables (?) to name a couple, you can take sea kelp as a supplement.

    And finally, I buy the expensive stuff sometimes, but most often I have a container that has that same yellow slickered girl on it (you would think they would update her or give her a make over). It’s usually on the very bottom shelf in the salt section at the grocery story and it costs some where around $3.
    There are certainly alot of opinions out there on salt – I didn’t mean to make this into such a culinary discussion LOL – I was just kidding around – however I am going to try sea salt since so many of you advocate it. Hugs!

  14. I had no idea there was such a choice of salt either, I always thought it was the white stuff that the experts say we should cut down on.

    I agree with you about Gordon Ramsey.

    p.s. Thank you for you kind words – it is so nice to be back I have missed reading you blog,
    Welcome back sweetie – I missed you tons! Gordon Ramsey was once a fine chef but I lost all respect for him when he gave in to the Almighty dollar and started doing stupid tv shows where he screams and berates people, who by the way are also the dumbest contestants for the title of a head chef that anyone could ever find. Gordon should go back to cooking and writing books and learn words that don’t all begin with the letter “F”. Oops, getting on my high horse, aren’t I? LOL Take care of you! Hugs!

  15. Salt isn’t supposed to make your food taste salty, it’s supposed to enhance the flavors already in your food. If your food tastes salty then you’re using too much.

    I agree that for most of us it doesn’t matter what type of salt we use (I use kosher when cooking), but for a guy like Gordon Ramsay, who can tell if food has been frozen just by smelling it… I’m guessing he can taste the difference. Hell, he can probably smell the difference
    Of course salt isn’t supposed to make your food taste salty. Duh. Lighten up – you obviously don’t get me and that’s okay because anyone who is this enamored of Gordon Ramsey probably shouldn’t be reading my blog anyway. LOL P.S. Any chef worth his/her weight can tell food has been frozen by just smelling it. I’ve lost all respect for Ramsey once he became a part of the American Reality tv world and his vocabulary could stand a little work. He should have stuck to cooking, at which he definitely excelled.

  16. I have to have salt on my cantaloupe and my watermelon. I also put salt on my grapefruit. I’ve tried to use some sea salt and it’s good but I’m always getting too much in what I’m cooking. I haven’t learned to use it sparingly. I certainly didn’t know there were so many types of salt.
    Ick, ick, and more ick. But I defend your right to use salt on whatever you like – this is America by God and if you want to use salt on grapefruit, then you go for it girl! I, on the other hand will now try and stop gagging…LOL

  17. Okay, but the word thingy was on before so I guess that is not it.
    I will say not to click on my name but put my website directly into your favorites. It is http://www.mrsupole.com and then you can just click on directly from your favorites and see if by maybe not using your blog site link then maybe you can go under anonymous and leave a message. And maybe the same for Auntie’s site too. But I will put it back on (when I get this internet mess cleaned up) and I do not think that must be it then. Sigh.

    Read my post from tonight and you will see I am gonna be off for a few days trying to get this mess from hubby fixed. I am gonna explode right now. Sigh again.
    Don’t explode – I will figure it out one of these days – until then, know that I read you and we can always email. Hugs!

  18. I cannot get a new doctor cause at least this one write me prescriptions for my muscle relaxers and pain pills, plus my HMO doesn’t really give us much choice. Maybe I will have to order online but I heard it can be expsensive and is not always save. I could just travel down to Tijauana and get some. It is only a two hour drive, but they got all those drug wars going on right now and so the place is kinda empty. Plus the feds kinda frown on us doing that. I could get a priscription from a doctor down there though and then I can do it, but it still costs a lot. I know people who go down there to see the doctors. Hug your doctor for me and tell him I wish he was mine.
    Alright my dahlink let me share a little medical secret with you. I had to take muscle relaxers (Flexerall I think it was called) when the back spasms first started and I almost went blind – I literally couldn’t see it was so blurry) Tell your doctor you are having serious vision side effects and you know from past experience that low dosages of Valium also act as muscle relaxers but do not screw up your vision – now, I’m not scamming you – this is a true story and what I shared w/my doc – that’s why he prescribed Valium – I take 5 mg – that’s not a big deal – you won’t get addicted – I personally think your doctor has a problem. Do not, I repeat, do not go to Mexico for drugs – we might never see you again and that would upset me terribly. Best of luck dahlink – I am so thankful I have medical insurance from my husband’s military career – it’s not the best – but they don’t force you to join the HMO portion – I have to pay a little more but the freedom to be treated and get the drugs I truly need is worth a few more dollars a month. Blessings to you sweetie.

  19. Okay,
    I am not sure why my comment did not go through or if it went somewhere else and will get published later.

    Anyway I will try again. I said I do not think it is my word thingy causing the problem since it was on before. I think you should put my website into your favorites and then just pull it up directly without it being linked to your website and then maybe you can use anonymous that way. I tried it on another computer and it worked that way. So I will post my web site with spaces causes maybe that is why it did not post, so here it is with spaces and you know where they should not be.
    http:// www. mrsupole. com

    hopefully this will go through.

    I hope this works for you and maybe will work for Auntie’s site too. We can only pray. Good luck.
    We’re good now, sweetie! I’ll check Dog Girl later and see about that one. Cheers.

  20. I am being light, what’s with the hostility?

    You’re right that Ramsay is a different person on American TV than he is on BBC. I don’t like him at all when he’s on Fox, yet I totally love what he does on the BBC. He’s an amazing Chef and a good business man. He’s also very awesome for helping struggling business owners and getting people to cook at home again.

    Check him out on BBC and let me know if you get a different view of him.
    Sorry, I thought you were rude in your ‘salty’ comment because I was obviously speaking “tongue-in-cheek” (guess it wasn’t that obvious, huh) – no hostility on my part, honest, I’m just naturally sarcastic and sometimes it’s hard to tell I’m simply being a smarta$$, not hostile. 🙂 Unfortunately I don’t have access to BBC (and that is most unfortunate because BBC has MUCH better programming than the American shows we rip off from BBC) so I can’t check him out there. I do like his recipes and have checked out some of his books. I still hold to my opinion that’s he’s overly foul-mouthed and it’s obviously done for those here who enjoy that type of behavior on tv – I don’t. I have heard he’s done some very generous work for those less fortunate than he. Thanks for visiting – really. 🙂

  21. Hey, thanks for responding to my response. I wasn’t trying to be rude, just educational. I kind of picked up the sarcasm after I replied.

    Yeah BBC Rocks! I love their shows! After watching BBC our shows seem so contrived. Even when Ramsay’s not being an ass, Fox will edit the show to make it seem like he is, lol.

    He is overly foul mouthed though. Some celebrity guest on his F Word show said, “Gordon, your food is classy, but your mouth is sewer trash”! That seems to pretty much sum it up.

    Thanks for the cool blog and the responses. I’m going to subscribe right now.
    Glad we got that straightened out – I love my blogging friends and would never intentionally be rude to anyone – so glad to meet ya – and look forward to more comments. I think it’s very sad that American tv has sunk to the levels it has and yes, I’m not going to lie and say I don’t watch some of the muck but you’re right, it is sooooo contrived. Thanks for subscribing – catch ya later – Cheers!

  22. I’m with Steppingthru, I salt my cantaloupe and watermelon, the acidity of the salt compliments the sweetness of the melon. I’m one of the people that like sweet/salty foods and sweet/spicy as well. I bought some Kosher salt and I like it better than plain salt. If you don’t like the idea of the little spice bowls that the chef’s use to sprinkle the seasonings from you can do the same thing with washed hands. Put the salt or spice in your cupped palm and then use other fingers to pinch and sprinkle. The basic idea is if you just “shake” you can’t judge how much you are using while if you “pinch and sprinkle” you have more control. I also am a salt-on-the-rim girl as well, lots of salt actually so it lasts the whole margarita.
    You are such a smart cookie I just love the stuffin’ outta you – guess what I do? I wash my hands, dry them well, then I poor salt into my palm and THAT’s how I salt my cooking. I can’t believe you suggested that, too. We are so sistahs! But I refuse to salt fruit – otherwise it doesn’t taste like fruit – and you are never going to change my mind on this – but go ahead and salt your fruit – I want you to be happy baby! Hugs!

  23. Kosher salt-check
    Sea salt-check
    table salt-check
    crazy salt mixture made for me by Pualani-check

    Guilty as charged. I use them all. Like Jan, I cook mostly with kosher salt and stick my extremely clean fingers into the bowl to pinch. I find that I have more control over the amount by pinching instead of shaking. I used to keep the kosher salt in a sugar bowl until my FIL put it in his tea and I caught all kinds of heck.

    I use sea salt for the table but we also use regular table salt as well.
    I had no idea the comments this posting would generate and I thought Foodie was gonna hunt me down and smack me up the side of the head for just being my usual smarta$$ self – glad we made up! I guess since there has been so much discussion here I’m just going to have to bite the bullet and try some different types of salt. I’ll let you guys know what I discover. The pualani salt sounds interesting.

  24. Does that mean it is working now? Can you leave comments there now. Let me know if you can.

    I am back on the net with my laptop, but now hubby cannot play his war games and is upset, now he is working on trying to fix his problem and then I will probably be screwed again and back off of my wifi network again. Sigh.

  25. I just wanted to thank you for posting something about salt. I think I have learned so much from reading the comments. Anyway I went to Costco today and thought I should try and get another grinder for the sea salt I had, since reading how it helps high blood pressure and I suffer from that too.

    Anway I got a 13oz size bottle with the grinder of Mediterrean Sea Salt. It was $3.49 for this size of bottle. I am guessing it costs more than a regular bottle of salt. So I am gonna try and see if it helps my blood pressure. I put some on a tomato to see how it tasted and was not too bad. I guess I can live with it.

    Anyway hubby got his war game working and I am still online so I am gonna write a happy post tonight.

    God bless.
    I had no idea all the brou-ha-ha this salt posting would provide – so many different opinions – and lots of good ideas I am going to try. I wonder would I have received as much response had I posted something on condoms?? Hmmm…

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