Calvin and I like to watch Chopped on the Food Network sometimes. The other night, and one other time that we have seen, the judges have had a problem with the contestants’ use of salt. Or rather, underuse of it. Hmmm, in my house, when something isn’t salty enough, you add a little salt at the table. Am I naïve and uninformed? Should food be magically salty enough for everyone, without being too salty?
I don’t like my food as salty as some people, and I know there are people who like things even less salty than I do. And, of course, there are people who prefer their food saltier. How do the judges expect the salt level to appeal to everyone? I know that there are some dishes that cry for salt, like potatoes of any kind. And there are some dishes that are less than tasty if you forget the salt. But some foods are just fine without added salt, and some are better without it. Am I wrong if I like my food less salty than someone else?
On the show we just watched, one judge mentioned umpteen times that the contestant didn’t salt his pasta water. I never salt my pasta water. A lot of people I know do not salt their pasta water. Are we all wrong? Methinks it is time for a side-by-side pasta taste test.
To clarify, I am talking solely about taste, not health. Using way too much salt, especially on cooking shows, makes me think the cook isn’t taking the time to think of how to build layers of flavor; but is instead using the salt as a crutch. I prefer not to have my taste buds assaulted (I couldn’t resist) by large amounts of salt.
Let’s get a salty debate going and see where it leads. Do you salt your pasta water? Do you rate a dish as substandard if you have to add salt at the table?