I was thinking to myself the other day just how amazing salt is. We take it for granted and even use it to grit icy roads, but it has to be the only true essential ingredient found in every kitchen on the planet. A flavour enhancer par excellence it literally makes everything taste better, except maybe fruit and cream cakes I’ll take that, but you get my drift.
It must be the most ancient seasoning in human history, even our cave dwelling ancestors would have known to sprinkle a little salt on their catch of the day. Imagine even earlier when the first humans emerged they lived by the coast, giving them access to as much salt as they could ever want.
Nowadays we seem to fear salt, and with good reason. It known to increase blood pressure and that’s not too good for the old ticker. We do however need it to live, but its other trick is nothing less than miraculous.
Quite simply it’s a flavour enhancer with no flavour of its own, therefore everything it touches becomes deeper in flavour and more delicious.
You get so many varieties these days compared to back in the day when it was table salt only. Like most I use sea salt, as it has a more gentle approach than table salt. I would recommend good quality sea salt to anyone as a must have.
So what about the pinch of salt (or sometimes just salt) us cooks tell you to add to a dish. Well it’s down to personal taste but the general rule seems to be a ‘pinch’ is not really enough. If I tell you that to season 500g (1lb) o beef you need a level teaspoon of sea salt as a minimum that’s actually the equivalent of about 3 decent sized pinches.
So what I advise people to do is take a level teaspoon of salt and drop it in the palm of your hand and feel it. Feel and see what that amount is, trust me it will come in handy during your future kitchen adventures!
Remember to tell me which salt you use and if you use different types for different dishes.