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Are you salt conscious?

Discussion in 'Cookery' started by modelmaker, Sep 7, 2011.

  1. modelmaker

    modelmaker Occasional commenter

    I only worry about it to the extent that overdoing it can spoil the taste. Much of my cooking is made up as I go along and inspired by the mood I'm in at the time, which means I have to be wary sometimes. For example, I might decide to add the stock I've cooked vegetables in to a gravy, forgetting I'd added salt to the water.
    To be honest, I'm quite astonished at the quantity of salt you see celebrity chefs using.
    I agree with you, nick, salt enhances the enjoyment of food. I go against the general advice of rubbing fine cooking salt into pork shin to crispen the crackling, prefering instead to sprinkle rock salt onto it, along with a generous amount of coursely ground black pepper in order toget a more intense yet localised salt and pepper kick when I eat it.
  2. Si N. Tiffick

    Si N. Tiffick Occasional commenter

    I was reading an article the ohter day- think it was in the latest Sainsbury's magazine but could be wrong- that said your average supermarket prawn sarnie has most of your day's salt intake in it. It wasn't that they add lots of salt to the filling- it was the salt content of the bread that was the problem. I must admit that when I am dieting, I eat more salt than usual. I don't salt things as much as tv chefs do but I do add salt to pasta, rice and potato water and salt things like potatoes, tomatoes etc as well as steaks and so on. I don't add salt at the table as a matter of course. Pepper, on the other hand, I'm addicted too.
  3. We had to abandon salt entirely when MrA was first diagnosed with high blood pressure - extreeeemely high blood pressure. (Bit of a problem for me because my blood pressure was pretty low - but I never liked salt much anyway, except for chips.)
    30 years ago there weren't a lot of options in buying processed foods - soups, sauces and the like. The low salt versions that came along soon after were diabolical. So we learnt a few tricks. The main one is herbs - fresh or dried.
    As for salt content - I agree about the celebrity chefs. They throw in astounding amounts of salt. I saw something the other day about bread. Especially seeded wholegrain bread. Apparently there's as much salt in a couple of slices as there is in a little packet of crisps.
  4. Bethannie

    Bethannie New commenter

    I have what I see as a 'reasonable/sensible' attitude to salt.
    I add a little salt to my cooking - but I don't like much. I know that Mum thinks I under-salt my potatoes....whilst I grumble under my breath that she over-salts!
    I don't add salt to cooked food - and want to smack a certain person who salts her food before tasting it. I cooked some beeatiful scrambled eggs - with a little nutmeg and a smidgin of black pepper and yes, a few grains of salt...and served them on buttered toast for a light lunch....and before eating a mouthful she demaded the salt cellar and covered the meal in salt! I found this somewhat insulting to my talents as a cook!
    (Salted Caramel and Lindt Dark Chocolate with a Sprinkle of Salt...they're both salt-free.....right!!!!!.....It's so easy to eat more than the stupid government guidelines...)
    I have my Blood Pressure checked regularly (and have a device to check it at home) and despite my extra poundage (stoneage?) have a BP that is on the lower end of normal.
    I think I read an article recently that said that salt is not the baddie it is made out to be.

  5. nick909

    nick909 Star commenter

    Yes - this drives me mad. I have a couple of friends and family members who add salt without tasting. Totally loopy.
    On the other hand a friend of ours adds NO salt at all when cooking (she's daftly paranoid that it will kill her), and offers no salt at the table either. I have to say it's a real effort to smile and pretend to enjoy her food when it tastes precisely of nothing.
    With regards to potatoes though - a relatively recent discover of mine (no doubt the rest of the world has always known this) is steaming them. Big old fluffy spuds, peeled and cut into large pieces and steamed for about 30-40 minutes, with no salt. Wonderful. Taste purely of potato, a taste that is easy to lose when boiling.
    I'm starting to suspect that this is the case,
  6. egyptgirl

    egyptgirl Senior commenter

    I'm VERY conscious about my salt intake...I suffer from hyponatremia (I think thats how its spelt!) which is a lack of sodium in my body so I need to have more salt in my diet to replace it than the average person.
    Mr EG used to do this until I trained him out of it, but we still have friends that do it and it infuriates me! If I spend my free time and hard-earned money cooking them a meal then I expect them to at least have the courtesy of not tipping a load of salt over before they take the first mouthful. I don't mind if they season to their own taste once they've tasted it but to do it before they've even put it in their mouth...[​IMG]
  7. PlymouthMaid

    PlymouthMaid Occasional commenter

    I hardly use any salt at all ever and I really don't understand why chefs go on about it so much. I have sent food back in restaurants because it was stupidly salty. I put a teeny pinch in pasta water and none in potatoes.
  8. landaise

    landaise Occasional commenter

    I don't use much salt in cooking, either. Will tend to put potatoes into salted water for roasts or when I prepare chips (salt draws out the starch and adds flavour but not too much saltiness)
    I don't put salt on the table (we don't have a salt cellar, I use coarse sel de guérande for cooking and have a teeny pot, 250g, of fleur de sel for adding to finished dishes)
    I rarely salt pasta water, as I don't eat much salt I find it tastes too salty if I do and the sauce will add some salt to the dish as will the parmesan/emmental.
    I'm horrified at how much salt some chefs add, they must have develpoed a taste for salty food. If I eat anything naturally salty: bacon, ham etc I'm really thirsty for the rest of the day!
    This came about initially because my family has a history of high BP and angina but it's now perfectly natural. Have weaned my husband off salt (and MIL too, somehow)
  9. bombaysapphire

    bombaysapphire Star commenter

    I don't use a lot of salt in my cooking either. We had the family history of high BP too and my Dad had to cut right down when I was a child. Seasoning in our household means a tiny pinch of sea salt and lots of ground pepper.
    We don't have a huge amount of processed food. Sometimes I don't enjoy ready meals because they are too salty. M&S have improved in recent years.
    I always put salt and pepper on the table for guests though. I have't had any who put loads on before they taste their food, not that I've noticed anyway!
  10. BelleDuJour

    BelleDuJour Star commenter

    I only add salt at the table to chips (rarely eaten) or jacket spuds if eaten plain.
    I add salt to the cooking water for rice, pasta and veggies but scientific tests have shown however much salt is added to the boiling water at the atart of cooking, is also in the water at the end. Strange but true!
    I eat very little processed food......ketchup and the occasional sauce.......so don't worry about that either.
    As I have a sensible attitude to salt I don't worry about it.
    I so rarely eat them because of this.

  11. grandelf

    grandelf New commenter

    I don't use salt in my cooking at all.

    If folks need salt on their food, they can add it on their plate!
  12. And never forget the other reason for adding salt. Maintaining the temperature of boiling water for pasta or to cook certain veg (say globe artichokes) is a lot easier for the addition of very little salt. (Same goes for the tiny half teaspoon of sugar for cooking a big pot of corncobs.
    The amount required is far, far less than needed to actually flavour the food. But it does affect the cooking time as well as the flavour and texture of food which has been cooked for the shortest length of time at the right, constant temperature.

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