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Reading room: Is salt a delicious necessity or a devil for diners?

Post by Sue Kidd / The News Tribune on May 10, 2010 at 2:29 pm | 2 Comments »
May 10, 2010 2:29 pm

TIME magazine has an interesting essay on the American chef’s use of salt in restaurant food and some factions that are trying to put limitations on how much salt is used in commercial settings. The writer, Josh Ozersky, includes a pithy observation from Anthony Bourdain: “Kitchen Confidential author Anthony Bourdain, speaking for chefs everywhere, describes salt as the one irreplaceable ingredient in the kitchen. ‘It’s what makes food taste good,’ he says. ‘Traditional, intelligent and skilled used of salt has become confused in the minds of nanny-state nitwits with the sneaking of salt into processed convenience foods. Nothing else encapsulates the mission of the food ideologues better than this latest intrusion: they desire a world without flavor.’ ”

The author goes on to describe salt as “cocaine for the palate,” and that despite diners being more aware of the need to reduce sodium intake, chefs aren’t necessarily putting down the salt shaker.

So where does that leave us? What’s a diner to do? Do you care much, or ask about sodium content in restaurant food? How do you navigate the salty landscape that is restaurant food?

Read the entire TIME essay here.

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