Thursday, 7 July 2011

Salt and Pepper

No I am not talking about Salt -N-Pepper the group that sing SHOOP and Let's talk about SEX nor am I talking about Salt and Pepper Homewares. I am talking about Salt and Pepper the two main condiments that every household and restaurant should have.

What has happened to these divine condiments that should be added to our savoury dishes whilst cooking? It appears that due to Health warning we have all chosen to decrease the amount of salt intake. This I don't mind we do need to focus on lowering health risks but to eliminate them completely..... it makes any meal bland and unsatisfactory.

I'm not just talking about home cooking either, I'm talking about restaurants too. Some top end restaurants choose not to have salt and pepper as an option on their dining tables because there food is seasoned perfectly. But is it really? Whether it be top end or your standard restaurant, food seasoning has reduced astronomically and it is effecting your overall dining experience.

Simple food such as soup should be seasoned from the beginning as it brings out so much more flavour in your stock, pasta and rice should always have that touch of salt whilst it cooks and chips..... who can say chips taste better without salt or seasoning??? KFC chips for example would not be the same highly spoken product if they removed the salt. If anything they would loose more money and would significantly scar their well known name.

Looking for the origin of salt and pepper it seems that these two condiments were married together in European cooking dating back to the 17th Century. It is also mentioned that these two are the only things that do not overpower cooking compared to herbs and other spices.

I am concerned that whist we cook at home and dine out in Restaurants we are not being blown away to the extent of wanting to recook that same dish or return to that Restaurant. We are not putting as much effort into our savoury dishes that what we put into our sweet dishes, and of course it is desserts that we all remember and return too. But we have to remember that before dessert there is always a main, and is usually the more expensive of the two dishes when dining out.

Adding salt and pepper after the meal is cooked and served is still not the best thing to do, but can assist in drawing out those flavours that are hidden. Personally I would like to stress to all you readers that if your cooking at home to ALWAYS add sufficient Salt and pepper and always taste. We have all seen Master Chef and the one thing they always stress to the contestants is to SEASON well and to TASTE.

If you are dining out, have a look around you if you are in one of the top end Restaurants and see if they provide you with salt and pepper on the table. If they don't be prepared to ask them for it. Although they offer cracked pepper which is ground before your eyes over everything, it is not what draws out those last flavours that will make your taste buds dance.


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