Salt

In casual restaurants in the US, every recipe needs at least 90% less salt. In fancy restaurants, I’d say about 70%.

Yes, I know, I know, it’s to make people drink more. But it kills every flavor. I’m from Ukraine, mind you. Which is a salt-crazed culture. And still, I’m stunned by this amount of salt.

I had this mushroom soup in Spain back in 2013. I still think about it often because it wasn’t at all oversalted. Not by a single grain. That’s so rare.

10 thoughts on “Salt

  1. You have to make yourself to eat less salt in every day life to notice the excess salt. I love salty foods and the amount of salt in the US never bothers me. Sometimes though I like to eat things completely unseasoned to get to the core of their flavor. Mushrooms are special in this regard. Completely unseasoned, just sautéed in butter, they have the most exquisite taste.

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    1. The level of salt and sugar in the US is unbereable!! When I lived there I was that person than slowed down the fast food drive-in line because I always asked for unsalted fries. And only ordered fish burgers, so everything had to be done on the spot.
      Although what I found most shocking was the sugar: juices were horribly sweet, I thought it would give me a diabetes right away and I only had one juice.
      But the most terrible thing I ate was shredded cheese that declared in its label that it had cellulose, to avoid it sticking.
      After this, we decided to cook everything from scratch and reduce to the minimum the processed food (no shredded cheese either). I still remember a dean making a comment on why I never purchased the food in the faculty lounge because I aways brought my own in a tupper. I didn’t explain myself, because I didn’t think I had to.
      Now that I am back living in Spain one of the things I enjoy the most is the food! I would share a pic of a fideua we did the other day, so delicious!!!!
      In other aspects, I feel an outsider here, but that is the price of having lived elsewhere and having adopted other habits and ways of thinking.

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      1. The fast food fries – or any fries in the US – horrify me. You can actually see the salt on top of them! And then people stick them into ketchup, which is nothing but salt. It’s very weird.

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        1. I am laughing, because that is exactly what I thought when I saw them: why on earth can I see clumps of salt on top? I think I’ve said it before here, but the most weird thing for me was dumping pizza with ranch sauce. Ranch sauce is an obsession in the part of the Midwest I lived in. Another food item I don’t get is that gravy sauce (shudder) that they have for breakfast all over their omelette. Of course, for my American friends I was a really picky eater, and maybe quite annoying because of it 🙂

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          1. Yeah, I don’t get “gravy.” But it’s worse in the South. They dump a sperm-looking sauce made of flour and lard in top of everything. My brain doesn’t process it as food.

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  2. “I know, it’s to make people drink more…. I’m from Ukraine … a salt-crazed culture”

    Do people traditionally have beverages with meals in Ukraine? One thing that surprised me in Poland (I’ve heard this used to be true in parts of Germany) is meals served without any beverage.

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    1. No, we don’t! The first time in my life I saw somebody put a pitcher of water on the table at dinnertime, I was 15 and visiting a Jewish friend. I remember asking them why they had water on the table because I couldn’t even guess. :-)))

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  3. I don’t really eat at restaurants enough to know, but at home, I am a salt fiend. I adore Dutch salted licorice. When my husband cooks (and he is a competent cook!), I always go after him and think… there’s something missing. Needs more salt!

    My working theory is simply that some people have a greater physiological need for salt than others. Lots of us have some of the genes responsible for cystic fibrosis, without having enough to inflict CF on us. One of the things that does to you is increase the rate at which you excrete salt.

    That doesn’t explain American food, though. I’m not sure anything does: it’s not just the salt!

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    1. I am a salt fiend as well. People comment on it consistently. I chalked it up to exercising and sweating a lot but who really knows? I don’t eat fast food or fries or drink soda (which is filled with sodium!) but I put kosher salt on all my vegetables and fish. Now I’m wondering if there is something wrong with me!

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