Tuesday, February 2, 2010

About Salt.

There's a great little post on chef/author Michael Ruhlman's website this morning about his salt preferences. This follows up an earlier piece, his "minor salt rant". The point (and I agree) is that our problem with salt is mostly a problem with processed foods. When chefs and nutritionists tell you that you should be buying the canned veggies that say "no salt added," they're not telling you you can't salt your vegetables (on the contrary, it would be pretty much criminal not to salt some vegetables, like the tomato... a chef once told me this had something to do with umami, but I can't substantiate the rumor in McGee or even on the open internet...). The point of buying unsalted cans is keeping control over the salt. Your taste buds don't really pick up on how salty those canned veggies are (has to do with how the salt's being used), and you'll be doing them a favor by forgoing the salt-as-preservative and replacing it with a little bit of more flavorful salt-as-seasoning.

And what if your grocery store (like mine) doesn't even CARRY no-salt-added veggies? Rinsing your canned veggies in a colander under tap water can remove up to 80% of the salt, at least according to this academic study from the 1980's.

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