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Steve McMahon
04-02-2019, 11:20 AM
I haven't been feeling the best for the past week or so. I figured out how to turn on the TV and Netflix, watched a few documentaries. I Watched a little 4 part series, Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat with chef Samin Nosrat. She coats everything with salt before cooking, steaks, chicken, veggies. I'm not talking a sprinkle, I mean she coats it. Like 2 tablespoons on a strip loin until it turns white. Is this normal? Even when she did a rice dish with her mother they added about 6 tablespoons of salt to the pot of water and added even more after it was cooked? Are all high end restaurants doing this? (I don't get out much)

Norman Bernstein
04-02-2019, 11:41 AM
I suspect that many people do 'under-salt' their food... but what you describe strikes me as extreme and excessive, and I doubt the many restaurants do this. I don't recall ever ordering anything in a restaurant that I would describe as excessively salty.

Peerie Maa
04-02-2019, 11:43 AM
Definitely off the wall, unless baked in a salt crust.

https://www.seriouseats.com/2010/04/how-to-bake-in-a-salt-crust-fish-chicken-potatoes-duck-snapper.html

Canoeyawl
04-02-2019, 11:45 AM
She points out the salt she uses in that film, I switched and followed her lead, so far so good.

She say's repeatedly, "you have to taste it"!

Flying Orca
04-02-2019, 11:49 AM
The number one mistake made by most home cooks is not using enough salt.

For, you know, what it's worth.

Joe (SoCal)
04-02-2019, 11:53 AM
The number one mistake made by most home cooks is not using enough salt.

For, you know, what it's worth.

I agree. I tend to salt/ taste and salt some more ;)

Although I can tell from one bite if the chef is a smoker, they tend to over salt.

FYI the show is brilliant.

Rum_Pirate
04-02-2019, 11:56 AM
Take everything in moderation.




Low Salt Intake Can Be Harmful

There is some evidence suggesting that a low-salt diet can be downright harmful.

The negative health effects include:


Elevated LDL cholesterol and triglycerides: Salt restriction has been linked to elevated LDL (the "bad") cholesterol and triglycerides (12 (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12535503)).
Heart disease: Several studies report that less than 3,000 mg of sodium per day is linked to an increased risk of dying from heart disease (13 (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16490476), 14 (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21307382), 15 (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21540421), 16 (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22110105)).
Heart failure: One analysis found that restricting salt intake increased the risk of dying for people with heart failure. The effect was staggering, with a 160% higher risk of death in individuals who reduced their salt intake (17 (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21731062)).
Insulin resistance: Some studies have reported that a low-salt diet may increase insulin resistance (https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/insulin-and-insulin-resistance/) (18 (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21036373), 19 (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10371376), 20 (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12691602/), 21 (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17425514/)).
Type 2 diabetes: One study found that in type 2 diabetes patients, less sodium was associated with an increased risk of death (22 (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21289228)).



BOTTOM LINE:A low-salt diet has been linked to higher LDL and triglyceride levels, and increased insulin resistance. It may increase the risk of death from heart disease, heart failure and type 2 diabetes.
and

Rum_Pirate
04-02-2019, 11:56 AM
Health Risks and Disease Related to Salt and SodiumWho’s at high risk of developing health problems related to salt consumption?

People over age 50
People who have high or slightly elevated blood pressure
People who have diabetes
African Americans

What happens to my body if I eat too much sodium?In most people, the kidneys have trouble keeping up with the excess sodium in the bloodstream. As sodium accumulates, the body holds onto water to dilute the sodium. This increases both the amount of fluid surrounding cells and the volume of blood in the bloodstream. Increased blood volume means more work for the heart and more pressure on blood vessels. Over time, the extra work and pressure can stiffen blood vessels, leading to high blood pressure, heart attack, and stroke. It can also lead to heart failure. There is also some evidence that too much salt can damage the heart, aorta, and kidneys without increasing blood pressure, and that it may be bad for bones, too.
High blood pressure is a leading cause of cardiovascular disease. It accounts for two-thirds of all strokes and half of heart disease. (1 (https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/salt-and-sodium/sodium-health-risks-and-disease/#ref1)) In China, high blood pressure is the leading cause of preventable death, responsible for more than one million deaths a year. (2 (https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/salt-and-sodium/sodium-health-risks-and-disease/#ref2))
The importance of potassiumSodium and potassium have opposite effects on heart health: High salt intake increases blood pressure, which can lead to heart disease, while high potassium intake can help relax blood vessels and excrete the sodium and decrease blood pressure.
Our bodies need far more potassium than sodium each day, but the typical US diet is just the opposite: Americans average about 3,300 milligrams of sodium per day, about 75 percent of which comes from processed foods, while only getting about 2,900 milligrams of potassium each day. (3 (https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/salt-and-sodium/sodium-health-risks-and-disease/#ref3),4 (https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/salt-and-sodium/sodium-health-risks-and-disease/#ref4))
A recent study in Archives of Internal Medicine provides more evidence that high salt diets have negative effects on health, and found that:


People who eat high sodium, low potassium diets have a higher risk of dying a heart attack or from any cause.



People can make a key dietary change to help lower their risk: Eat more fresh vegetables and fruits, which are naturally high in potassium and low in sodium—and eat less bread, cheese, and processed meat, as these and other processed foods are high in sodium and low in potassium. (5 (https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/salt-and-sodium/sodium-health-risks-and-disease/#ref5))

In this study, people with the highest sodium intakes had a 20 percent higher risk of death from any cause than people with the lowest sodium intakes. People with the highest potassium intakes had a 20 percent lower risk of dying than people with the lowest intakes. But what may be even more important for health is the relationship of sodium to potassium in the diet: People with the highest ratio of sodium to potassium in their diets had double the risk of dying of a heart attack than people with the lowest ratio, and they had a 50 percent higher risk of death from any cause. (5 (https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/salt-and-sodium/sodium-health-risks-and-disease/#ref5))
Cardiovascular diseaseBesides contributing to high blood pressure (https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/salt-and-sodium), consuming high amounts of sodium can also lead to stroke, heart disease, and heart failure.
Research also shows that reducing sodium lowers cardiovascular disease and death rates over the long term. (6 (https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/salt-and-sodium/sodium-health-risks-and-disease/#ref6))
3 key studies about sodium and cardiovascular disease:1. Intersalt: In the 1980s, researchers measured the amount of sodium excreted over a 24-hour period (a good stand-in for salt intake) among more than 10,000 adults from 32 countries. The average was nearly 4,000 milligrams of sodium a day. Yet the range was huge, from 200 milligrams a day among the Yanomamo people of Brazil to 10,300 milligrams in northern Japan. (7 (https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/salt-and-sodium/sodium-health-risks-and-disease/#ref7)) Populations with higher salt consumption had higher average blood pressures and greater increases of blood pressures with age. Four groups of people—the four countries with salt intakes under 1,300 milligrams per day—had low average blood pressures and little or no upward trend of blood pressure with age.
2. TOHP: Two Trials of Hypertension Prevention (TOHP) were conducted in the late 1980s and early 1990s. They tested the impact of lifestyle changes on blood pressure, including weight loss, stress management, nutritional supplements, and consuming less sodium. In each of the studies, small decreases in blood pressure were seen with sodium reduction over the 18 to 36 months the trials lasted. Years after the trials had ended, the researchers surveyed the participants and found that:


After an average of 10–15 years, the TOHP participants in the sodium-reduction groups were 25 percent less likely to have had a heart attack or stroke, to have needed a procedure to open or bypass a cholesterol-clogged coronary artery, or to have died of cardiovascular disease. (8 (https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/salt-and-sodium/sodium-health-risks-and-disease/#ref8))
The higher the ratio of potassium to sodium in a participant’s diet, the lower the chances were of developing cardiovascular trouble. (9 (https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/salt-and-sodium/sodium-health-risks-and-disease/#ref9)) This suggests that a strategy that includes both increasing potassium and lowering sodium may be the most effective way to fight high blood pressure.

3. DASH: The Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) trials, begun in 1994, were major advances in blood pressure research, demonstrating the links between diet and blood pressure. (11 (https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/salt-and-sodium/sodium-health-risks-and-disease/#ref11)) In the first study, 459 participants were randomly assigned to either a standard American diet high in red meat and sugars, and low in fiber; a similar diet that was richer in fruits and vegetables; or the “DASH diet,” which emphasized fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy foods, and limited red meat, saturated fats, and sweets. After eight weeks, both non-control diets reduced systolic (the top number of a blood pressure reading) and diastolic (the bottom number of a blood pressure reading) blood pressure, with the DASH diet producing a stronger effect.
The second study found that lowering sodium in either the DASH or standard American diet had an even stronger impact on reducing blood pressure. The DASH study contributed much of the scientific basis for the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010, which recommends reducing daily sodium to less than a teaspoon.
Other diseasesCancer
Research shows that higher intake of salt, sodium, or salty foods is linked to an increase in stomach cancer. The World Cancer Research Fund and American Institute for Cancer Research concluded that salt, as well as salted and salty foods, are a “probable cause of stomach cancer.” (12 (https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/salt-and-sodium/sodium-health-risks-and-disease/#ref12))
Osteoporosis

The amount of calcium that your body loses via urination increases with the amount of salt you eat. If calcium is in short supply in the blood, it can be leached out of the bones. So, a diet high in sodium could have an additional unwanted effect—the bone-thinning disease known as osteoporosis. (1 (https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/salt-and-sodium/sodium-health-risks-and-disease/#ref1)) A study in post-menopausal women showed that the loss of hip bone density over two years was related to the 24-hour urinary sodium excretion at the start of the study, and that the connection with bone loss was as strong as that for calcium intake. (13 (https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/salt-and-sodium/sodium-health-risks-and-disease/#ref13)) Other studies have shown that reducing salt intake causes a positive calcium balance, suggesting that reducing salt intake (https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/take-action-on-salt) could slow the loss of calcium from bone that occurs with aging....

Peerie Maa
04-02-2019, 11:59 AM
Take everything in moderation.


Low Salt Intake Can Be HarmfulThere is some evidence suggesting that a low-salt diet can be downright harmful.
The negative health effects include:



Elevated LDL cholesterol and triglycerides: Salt restriction has been linked to elevated LDL (the "bad") cholesterol and triglycerides (12 (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12535503)).
Heart disease: Several studies report that less than 3,000 mg of sodium per day is linked to an increased risk of dying from heart disease (13 (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16490476), 14 (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21307382), 15 (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21540421), 16 (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22110105)).
Heart failure: One analysis found that restricting salt intake increased the risk of dying for people with heart failure. The effect was staggering, with a 160% higher risk of death in individuals who reduced their salt intake (17 (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21731062)).
Insulin resistance: Some studies have reported that a low-salt diet may increase insulin resistance (https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/insulin-and-insulin-resistance/) (18 (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21036373), 19 (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10371376), 20 (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12691602/), 21 (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17425514/)).
Type 2 diabetes: One study found that in type 2 diabetes patients, less sodium was associated with an increased risk of death (22 (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21289228)).



BOTTOM LINE:A low-salt diet has been linked to higher LDL and triglyceride levels, and increased insulin resistance. It may increase the risk of death from heart disease, heart failure and type 2 diabetes.




On a minor note can also cause cramp and heat stroke.

ron ll
04-02-2019, 12:03 PM
Seems to be a current fad in restaurants to not put salt shakers on tables anymore. Salt is not poison, maybe to a few people, but everyone's different. (Also, have you noticed there are no spoons on the table in restaurants anymore?)

Andrew Craig-Bennett
04-02-2019, 12:07 PM
I haven't added salt in cooking for twenty years at least, but neither do I go out of my way to avoid salt. There is more than enough in any ordinary diet without adding any.

leikec
04-02-2019, 12:08 PM
Very few people in 21st century America have to worry about not getting enough salt in their diet. Restaurant and prepared supermarket/frozen food is loaded with the stuff, and more people tend to use too much salt, rather than too little.

Jeff C

Rum_Pirate
04-02-2019, 12:12 PM
I haven't added salt in cooking for twenty years at least, but neither do I go out of my way to avoid salt. There is more than enough in any ordinary diet without adding any.

What about getting iodine?

https://target.scene7.com/is/image/Target/GUEST_c454b74a-2b4d-46db-ae24-e2892b232721?wid=488&hei=488&fmt=pjpeg

Andrew Craig-Bennett
04-02-2019, 12:16 PM
Plenty of iodine too. Deficiency diseases are quite hard to come by in the rich world.

Peerie Maa
04-02-2019, 12:16 PM
Seems to be a current fad in restaurants to not put salt shakers on tables anymore. Salt is not poison, maybe to a few people, but everyone's different. (Also, have you noticed there are no spoons on the table in restaurants anymore?)

I think that the theory is that the chef ensures that it is correctly seasoned before sending it out. Spoons? How do they expect you to eat soup?

Steve McMahon
04-02-2019, 01:07 PM
Very few people in 21st century America have to worry about not getting enough salt in their diet. Restaurant and prepared supermarket/frozen food is loaded with the stuff, and more people tend to use too much salt, rather than too little.

Jeff C

I agree. I do add salt in cooking though. We rarely eat out - maybe once or twice a year. We also never buy processed foods. Everything is done from scratch except the odd times my wife goes away I might splurge for a pre made lasagna or something like that for a quick easy meal.

AlanMc
04-02-2019, 01:11 PM
salt isn't salt isn't salt. i would bet if you listened they said "kosher salt" when they did that heavy dousing. i buy kosher flaked salt and there's not as much salt in any given measurement as your standard morton's table salt. it took some getting used to but now i salt all my food like you see on tv. so it looks like a lot, but it's not as much as you would think.

Steve McMahon
04-02-2019, 01:25 PM
salt isn't salt isn't salt. i would bet if you listened they said "kosher salt" when they did that heavy dousing. i buy kosher flaked salt and there's not as much salt in any given measurement as your standard morton's table salt. it took some getting used to but now i salt all my food like you see on tv. so it looks like a lot, but it's not as much as you would think.

You may be right. My sister lived in Portugal for a number of years and through her I am stocked up in a dozen kinds of salt and they all taste different. I don't think we have any iodized table salt in the house. I use a pink Himalaya salt in my electric salt and pepper grinder on the table. I expect I have a lot to learn about all the varieties.

Peerie Maa
04-02-2019, 01:25 PM
salt isn't salt isn't salt. i would bet if you listened they said "kosher salt" when they did that heavy dousing. i buy kosher flaked salt and there's not as much salt in any given measurement as your standard morton's table salt. it took some getting used to but now i salt all my food like you see on tv. so it looks like a lot, but it's not as much as you would think.

I would re read the label.

Kosher salt or kitchen salt[1] (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kosher_salt#cite_note-1) is coarse edible salt (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edible_salt) without common additives such as iodine (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iodized_Salt). Used in cooking and not at the table (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Table_salt), it consists mainly of sodium chloride (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sodium_chloride) and may include anticaking agents (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anticaking_agent). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kosher_salt

Salt is a mineral, and as such, pure salt is always kosher. Some brands of salt have a kosher symbol on the package, and that way you know that a reliable kosher certification agency is checking to make sure that nothing else gets mixed in to the salt and that it’s 100% kosher. https://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/614954/jewish/What-Is-Kosher-Salt.htm
Unless you are using the same weight of salt, but the bigger flakes make it look like more?
We get the same effect with the sea salt that we use, I have pyramid sea salt crystals 3/4 inch a side.

AlanMc
04-02-2019, 01:38 PM
I would re read the label.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kosher_salt
https://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/614954/jewish/What-Is-Kosher-Salt.htm
Unless you are using the same weight of salt, but the bigger flakes make it look like more?
We get the same effect with the sea salt that we use, I have pyramid sea salt crystals 3/4 inch a side.


yeah, my flaked kosher salt (what you see most tv people using when they season out of a bowl of salt) is light and fluffy compared to the dense granular table salts. if you put the table salt in your mouth it would be crunchy like sand but the kosher salt melts instantly. i for one, like the kosher salt b/c you can be heavy handed with it without over salting the food. with table salt, a minor error ruins the desired seasoning.

john welsford
04-02-2019, 01:43 PM
Plenty of iodine too. Deficiency diseases are quite hard to come by in the rich world.

A young woman, cousin by marriage, daughter of a woman who is an extremist health food nutter and who among many other things is a strong believer in naturopathy, raised her daughter without iodine in what little salt the family had in their diet. Daughter at 16 had a very noticeably swollen throat, was eventually taken to a doctor by a friends mother and was found to have goitre. The very thing that iodised salt is there to prevent. Her mother refused to allow treatment, used naturopathic remedies, by 18 that swelling was serious, and on the pretext of going to university in a town far enough away to need her to live away from home, she left home and ( socialist healthcare) went and had surgery and follow up treatment. After that she was not welcome back home, sad stuff. Continued her education, ( again, socialist education system) and is now a happy and normal young lady doing well in a career in Marine Biology.

Me, I have very low blood pressure, so take a little extra salt as a management thing. Salt seems to be one of the latest things that the health diet people are agin, and I had a woman at a table next to me at dinner in a hotel one night turn to me and berate me for putting a very light sprinkle on my veges. Told me that I should know better and that at my age it was dangerous and would cause heart problems from high blood pressure. I quietly told her that she knew nothing about me or my health status, and that salt was part of my recommended blood pressure management system, and that my bp was around 105/70 and needed to not go lower.
She went very quiet and left the table very soon after.

John Welsford

SKIP KILPATRICK
04-02-2019, 01:48 PM
I use a pink Himalaya salt in my electric salt and pepper grinder on the table.

Electric! Huh! I bet that's a hell of a lot quieter than my gas powered salt and pepper mill!

https://www.spyker.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/Spyker_Pro-Series_ROS_S100-12011.png (https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=2ahUKEwjKrMWBibLhAhUIpJ4KHWKaDg8QjRx6BAgBEAU&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.spyker.com%2Fspyker-spreaders-pro-series%2F&psig=AOvVaw0uVyz577UFD4Ug-nZ8SRpF&ust=1554317203768310)

Peerie Maa
04-02-2019, 01:59 PM
yeah, my flaked kosher salt (what you see most tv people using when they season out of a bowl of salt) is light and fluffy compared to the dense granular table salts. if you put the table salt in your mouth it would be crunchy like sand but the kosher salt melts instantly. i for one, like the kosher salt b/c you can be heavy handed with it without over salting the food. with table salt, a minor error ruins the desired seasoning.

We use this salt http://www.maldonsalt.co.uk/ Are there any sea salt companies in the US, or is it all made from refined rock salt?

Peerie Maa
04-02-2019, 02:04 PM
A young woman, cousin by marriage, daughter of a woman who is an extremist health food nutter and who among many other things is a strong believer in naturopathy, raised her daughter without iodine in what little salt the family had in their diet. Daughter at 16 had a very noticeably swollen throat, was eventually taken to a doctor by a friends mother and was found to have goitre. The very thing that iodised salt is there to prevent. Her mother refused to allow treatment, used naturopathic remedies, by 18 that swelling was serious, and on the pretext of going to university in a town far enough away to need her to live away from home, she left home and ( socialist healthcare) went and had surgery and follow up treatment. After that she was not welcome back home, sad stuff. Continued her education, ( again, socialist education system) and is now a happy and normal young lady doing well in a career in Marine Biology.

John Welsford

My mother suffered from and had surgery for goitre. Side effect of the thyroid imbalance was to send her mildly doolally.

AlanMc
04-02-2019, 02:07 PM
there's a bunch it seems. found this "top 10" list

https://www.bonappetit.com/entertaining-style/trends-news/article/american-sea-salt

Joe (SoCal)
04-02-2019, 02:34 PM
So the “taste” bud for salt is singular, so essinatally all salt be it sea salt from the Dead Sea Salt dried on the backs of Scandinavian swimsuit models or Morton out of the shaker hits the same taste bud and tastes exactly the same.

That said the additives or extra minerals as well as texture and mouth feel vary, for that reason and probably the only thing that AlanMC and I will ever agree on I use the flaky Kosher Sea Salt.

AlanMc
04-02-2019, 02:39 PM
So the “taste” bud for salt is singular, so essinatally all salt be it sea salt from the Dead Sea Salt dried on the backs of Scandinavian swimsuit models or Morton out of the shaker hits the same taste bud and tastes exactly the same.

That said the additives or extra minerals as well as texture and mouth feel vary, for that reason and probably the only thing that AlanMC and I will ever agree on I use the flaky Kosher Sea Salt.


atta boy joe... COMMON GROUND!!! we can hang out over a margarita now (salted rim of course)

Steve McMahon
04-02-2019, 02:41 PM
Sounds good. I have added Flaky Kosher Sea Salt to my Amazon list.

AlanMc
04-02-2019, 02:42 PM
Sounds good. I have added Flaky Kosher Sea Salt to my Amazon list.


good deal. don't be scared to put 2-3 times the volume of salt on the food

Peerie Maa
04-04-2019, 12:34 PM
New study released. Too much salt is the biggest dietary killer

So which diets have got it in for me?

The Global Burden of Disease Study is the most authoritative assessment of how people are dying in every country in the world.
The latest analysis used estimates of countries' eating habits to pin down how often diet was shortening lives.
The dangerous diets were those containing:


Too much salt - three million deaths
Too few whole grains - three million deaths
Too little fruit - two million deaths

Low levels of nuts, seeds, vegetables, omega-3 from seafood and fibre were the other major killers.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-47734296

https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/624/cpsprodpb/B995/production/_106290574_salt_deathsv2-640-nc.png

Full report here: https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(19)30041-8/fulltext

Tom Montgomery
04-04-2019, 03:03 PM
.
So this article appeared this afternoon in my e-magazine TASTE. The brand and type of salt makes a difference:


Cooking magazine editors are no strangers to the complaints department. Frequently, readers make liberal substitutions or skip over steps in recipes. “I cut half the sugar, replaced the white flour with rye, and only used egg whites. This cake was terrible. VERY DISAPPOINTED.” But when complaints started rolling in for one Bon Appétit magazine recipe, the editors paid attention. The dish in question was on the cover of their January 2013 issue: a fat, brined pork chop dramatically set in a black cast-iron plan—its thick, caramelized crust the tone of chestnut. Foaming butter, browning in swirls with a sprig of singed thyme and few bulbs of golden garlic, surrounded it. You wanted to cook it right away.


“We got letters from readers saying, ‘We followed it to the letter and it came out inedibly salty,’” says Carla Lalli Music, Bon Appetit’s food director. “When we hear the same thing from several people, we take that very seriously.” In a double misfortune, this cover recipe was also in the Cooking School issue, which promised to teach readers how to do the basics flawlessly. While many food publications have cut staff in recent years, paring down their recipe development, Bon Appétit puts every recipe through a rigorous process, with multiple tastings and tweakings before it is “cross-tested”—made by a different recipe editor, one who had nothing to do with creating it—to make absolutely sure that it works. The pork chop recipe, like every other recipe, had been put through the wringer. What had happened?


If you’ve cooked out of a book, magazine, or newspaper in the past three decades or so, chances are pretty good that many of the recipes you’ve used have called for kosher salt. It’s been an American standard for a good while. The trouble is that the two major kosher salt brands—Diamond Crystal and Morton—perform in wildly different ways. Diamond Crystal was the salt that Bon Appétit used in its test kitchen. After a brief investigation, the editors found out that some of the readers with salty pork chops had used Morton, and others had used regular table salt. Lalli Music swiftly put out a directive to the test kitchen team that from then on, recipes would be cross-tested with Morton salt, and recipes for both brands of kosher salt starting showing up in the magazine’s pages soon after.


All salt is the same ingredient: NaCl, or sodium chloride. But a cup of Morton is nearly twice as salty as Diamond Crystal. Its thin crystals, made by pressing salt granules in high-pressurized rollers, are much denser than those of Diamond Crystal, which uses a patented pan-evaporation process, called the Alberger method, that results in pyramidal crystals. While different brands of fine sea salts and table salts generally have around the same weight by volume, kosher salts do not. “And it’s not only the weight,” says Lalli Music. “Morton is a coarser salt. It takes a little longer to dissolve.” So even at the same weight, it actually performs differently. It’s easier to add too much of the slow-dissolving Morton salt because it may not have fully liquefied when you’ve tasted something.


That kosher salt is even the standard for recipes is something of an American peculiarity, and like Fahrenheit and inches, we’ve clung to it despite its inconveniences. In the late 1800s, American salt companies started targeting the Jewish community with “koshering salt,” a coarser-grained variety good for removing the blood from meat and thus the kind of salt you would use for “koshering” meat. The name was later shortened to “kosher salt,” something of a misnomer given that it’s defined by its texture, not rabbinical oversight, and it was marketed to the wider public in the 1960s. American chefs soon adopted the stuff, prizing its purity and flaky texture in contrast to other varieties, like table salt, which often has added iodide or anti-caking agents to prevent clumping.


“Kosher salt is the restaurant standard for when you’re using your fingers to sprinkle,” says New York Times dining columnist Melissa Clark, the author of many cookbooks, including, most recently, Dinner: Changing the Game. “The large grains fall easily on a piece of meat, and chefs get to know how much their pinch encompasses. So they can season by feel rather than measuring. And it’s cheap.” The restaurant standard was soon adopted by cookbooks, magazines, and newspapers. Clark, like the editors at Bon Appétit, uses Diamond Crystal, as does Samin Nosrat, who just published her first cookbook, the excellent Salt Fat Acid Heat. “I learned to cook at Chez Panisse, and we mostly used Diamond Crystal,” says Nosrat. “At some point, we switched to sea salt and everything became super salty. It took chefs a while to adjust.” Even professionals can get thrown off when the salt is different.


“The mind-set one enters with Diamond Crystal is ‘Oh, I can use a lot of this and an extra bit won’t make a difference,’” Nosrat says. “You don’t have that freedom with other salts. I like that freedom.” But for her cooking column in The New York Times, she calls for sea salt. Why? For one recipe, a copy editor at the Times removed the brand name of Diamond Crystal in the line that called for kosher salt. So to avoid angry reader mail, Nosrat switched to sea salt. (She wasn’t aware of Bon Appétit’s incident.) A while back, her friend, Jill Sanpietro, Chowhound’s food editor, tested a recipe for chocolate chip cookies she had tested 20 times, but still got an irate letter from a reader saying the cookies were so salty that she couldn’t serve them. The difference between Diamond Crystal and Morton, of course, was the discrepancy. “That haunted me,” said Nosrat.


Kosher salt never quite made it to Europe or Asia, where sea salt is more prevalent. For the publishing of Nosrat’s book in the U.K., her publisher has told her that they’ll have to substitute for Diamond Crystal, which is not widely available there. Cookbook author and baking expert Dorie Greenspan, who started out using the salt she grew up with, Diamond Crystal, earlier in her career, now uses fine sea salt and fleur de sel. She made the change when she started working with French chefs and wanted to better translate their cooking into recipes, and stuck with it because she came to prefer the flavor—and consistency across brands. American bakers mostly stay away from kosher salt, too. “Fine sea salt is better for baking and dissolves really quickly in liquids,” says Clark. “And it’s more consistent for measuring.” That’s why bakers, like food scientist Shirley Corriher, author of Bakewise, and Rose Beranbaum Levy, author of The Cake Bible, call for sea salt or fine salt.


The editors at Bon Appétit had known for some time that there were differences between the two brands. They published an article in 2008 on the discrepancies. The New York Times also came out with its own article, “Warning: Measure Your Salt,” in 2010. And other cooking sites, like Food52 and Smitten Kitchen, have published their own missives. Serious Eats has taken the step of specifically calling for Diamond Crystal in its recipes for which measuring salt makes a difference. Yet for all that has been written on the two kosher salts, the information hasn’t filtered down to the cooking public.


And in many recipes, it doesn’t affect things too much, so readers can blissfully use their Morton salt in recipes tested with Diamond Crystal without anything going wrong. “Sometimes we’ll cross-test a recipe, and we’ll find it’s negligible,” says Lalli Music. Some recipes suggest salting to taste, and in others the amount is small enough that the final product isn’t noticeably different. But in cases where you can’t season to taste, like baked goods, sausages, cured fish, meatballs, pickles, and brined meats, and there is a noticeable difference, Bon Appétit took the extraordinary step of publishing two salt measurements, like a zucchini scone recipe this year that called for either one tablespoon of Diamond Crystal or one and a half teaspoons of Morton. Right now, only Serious Eats and Bon Appétit specify the kosher salt brand, and only Bon Appétit offers two measurements. But that may change. All it takes is a few angry reader e-mails to scare an editor straight.

skuthorp
04-04-2019, 03:07 PM
I don't like the stuff, never have. I am really sensitive to any foods with salt in them and have seldom added salt to my cooking, and never added it on top.

Bob (oh, THAT Bob)
04-04-2019, 03:20 PM
What about getting iodine?

https://target.scene7.com/is/image/Target/GUEST_c454b74a-2b4d-46db-ae24-e2892b232721?wid=488&hei=488&fmt=pjpeg

Years ago I started cooking with koshering salt instead of fine iodized, better flavor, only thing better is sea salt and not by much (vastly cheaper than sea salt, used by most chefs and rated 9/10 with sea salt as 10/10). However I also learned that iodine was introduced into salt in the US because of serious studies that proved lack of it in some areas was the cause of reduced intelligence. Not a problem in many other areas like Asia where a diet that includes things like seaweed provides plenty of iodine. I try to remember to periodically have a seaweed salad, yummy. If I am exercising rigorously and daily, salt intake is not a problem. If not active enough (like this winter, foot problems have kept me from walking with weights in lieu of biking), I have to watch my salt to keep my BP down.

skuthorp
04-04-2019, 03:32 PM
We have Miso soup occasionally, the taste stays with me for days.

robm
04-04-2019, 03:40 PM
The iodine also prevents goiter and thyroid problems.

Nicholas Carey
04-04-2019, 09:28 PM
What about getting iodine?


Eat seafood. Iodine is added to table salt to solve a problem that is largely non-existent.

Nicholas Carey
04-04-2019, 09:36 PM
So the “taste” bud for salt is singular, so essinatally all salt be it sea salt from the Dead Sea Salt dried on the backs of Scandinavian swimsuit models or Morton out of the shaker hits the same taste bud and tastes exactly the same.


It doesn't.

Go to the store. Buy an assortment of different slats — Morton table salt, kosher salt, sea salt, Maldonado flaked salt from England, sel de gris -- A.O.C. sea salt from France -- whatever.

Do a blind taste testing with your friends.

I guarantee that you will discover significant differences in taste between the various salts (anything from Morton tastes like it leaked out of a drain pipe at a DuPont chemical factory).

I'm also willing to bet you a beer that you'll discover that Maldon flake sea salt from England tastes the best.

I thought all salt was pretty much the same ... until I did a blind taste test like that.

Peerie Maa
04-05-2019, 02:51 AM
I'm also willing to bet you a beer that you'll discover that Malone flake sea salt from England tastes the best.


Channelling Donn, That is MALDON

We use this salt http://www.maldonsalt.co.uk/

Canoeyawl
04-05-2019, 11:11 AM
This salt is good...
(we cook with Diamond Kosher)
https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0561/3553/products/Gros_Sel_de_Guerande_Coarse_Grey_Sea_Salt_26.4_oz. _750_g_grande.jpg?v=1493061482

Joe (SoCal)
04-05-2019, 11:33 AM
It doesn't.

Go to the store. Buy an assortment of different slats — Morton table salt, kosher salt, sea salt, Maldonado flaked salt from England, sel de gris -- A.O.C. sea salt from France -- whatever.

Do a blind taste testing with your friends.

I guarantee that you will discover significant differences in taste between the various salts (anything from Morton tastes like it leaked out of a drain pipe at a DuPont chemical factory).

I'm also willing to bet you a beer that you'll discover that Malone flake sea salt from England tastes the best.

I thought all salt was pretty much the same ... until I did a blind taste test like that.

No what I was saying is there are Five basic tastes are recognized today: salty, sweet, bitter, sour, and umami. Salty and sour taste sensations are both detected through ion channels. Sweet, bitter, and umami tastes, however, are detected by way of G protein-coupled taste receptors.

Salt is salt, BUT and this is a BIG BUT that I also mentioned in my post. Additional minerals and compounds within the salt will give it different "flavors" and mouth feel also based on flake and granular size. The amount of salinity in each flake or grain vs the amount of inert or other minerals and "terroir" will result in different flavor of the salt.

NaCl pure sodium chloride, is the same as every other NaCl pure sodium chloride

AlanMc
04-05-2019, 12:44 PM
No what I was saying is there are Five basic tastes are recognized today: salty, sweet, bitter, sour, and umami. Salty and sour taste sensations are both detected through ion channels. Sweet, bitter, and umami tastes, however, are detected by way of G protein-coupled taste receptors.

Salt is salt, BUT and this is a BIG BUT that I also mentioned in my post. Additional minerals and compounds within the salt will give it different "flavors" and mouth feel also based on flake and granular size. The amount of salinity in each flake or grain vs the amount of inert or other minerals and "terroir" will result in different flavor of the salt.

NaCl pure sodium chloride, is the same as every other NaCl pure sodium chloride


we tried one of those himalayan salt blocks that you can cook on. all i put on the meat was my tellicherry pepper. cooked that on the salt block and wow, you could really taste something other than salt and my normal pepper. it was the minerals. after a minute you realize that mineral flavor is there.

Nicholas Carey
04-05-2019, 07:26 PM
Channelling Donn, That is MALDON


Danged autocorrect! Fixed it.

ron ll
04-05-2019, 09:08 PM
When I was a kid I used to lick these in the field. When the cows weren’t using them of course. :)

34861

Todd D
04-05-2019, 10:03 PM
Pink salt like the himalayan stuff gets the color from having some KCl (sylvite) dissolved in it. The KCl makes the salt more bitter.

Having some NaI in your salt is a good thing particularly if you live down wind from a nuclear power plant.