Thursday, November 12, 2009

Cooking With Salt

I like to cook. I also like to eat. Food, preferably.

My family also likes to eat, so it's a good relationship.

I'm pretty darn good at it, if I do say so. The cooking. And the eating for that matter.

But let's focus on the cooking part.

There is one basic cooking technique that makes or breaks a dish. You can add all kinds of stuff, use the best ingredients, use fantastic flavor profiles, have a very creative/unique dish, spend tons of money...BUT if you don't properly season the food with salt at the appropriate times of cooking, it will not turn out as good as it can.

Will it be edible? Oh sure. But if you know the potential of the food, you won't be satisfied.

The thing is, the proper amount of salt does not make something taste salty. The proper amount of salt makes food taste more like....itself. It just takes the amount of "taste" that a food has naturally, and increases it.

For reals.

Not enough salt, the food isn't tasty. Add too much, the food loses its unique food profile and all you can taste is the salt.

The fun part about salt, is that you always think you need less salt than you actually do. The main reason that food tastes better at a good restaurant vs food you make at home is that you're NOT using enough salt.

Salt has to be added earlier. If you wait until you're done cooking and try to add it at the end, it won't have time to work its way through the food and you'll have a "bland" layer and a "salty" layer. They won't mesh together.

I'll give you the benefit of the doubt, you probably know where this is going.

Matthew 5:13 "You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men."

See, you already knew that didn't you?

If we add our saltiness to the world around us, at the right times, with the right proportions (always MORE than we think is necessary) then we will make the true flavor of the world come out.

It will reveal God's glory, instead of its sinfulness.

Salt by itself...tastes gross.

Salt's only purpose is to make other foods realize their own potential. Salt has no responsibilities to itself. It is an enabler of God's potential in his creation.

Salt needs to be added early. You can't wait for it. The salt won't have time to mix and fully incorporate into the food.

And unlike with cooking, there's not a point of "too much" salt. The addition of more and more salt does make the final product more salty.

But here, that's actually a good thing.