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Properly Seasoned vs. Adding Table Salt - Evidence for Amounts?


misstenacity
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I've heard it said before that when salt is added at the table as a reaction to underseasoning in the kitchen, the net amount of salt/sodium consumed is likely to be higher.

Because I'm in a discussion with someone about this and it could get contentious, does anyone have REAL data on that?

I'm hoping there was some study done that actually shows people adding more salt than a cook would....

Thank you so much!

:-)

"You can't taste the beauty and energy of the Earth in a Twinkie." - Astrid Alauda

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No data here, but I would argue that the flavor quality of "seasoned while cooking" is different from and superior to that of food seasoned at the table. I'm just an amateur home cook with no training and no high ambition, but just watching Food Network cooks seasoning as they cook has been a revelation. The food is just plain hands down better. Seasoning at the table can't repair failure in the kitchen. I am operating now on the premise that in general, the earlier one seasons, the better.

Sorry I can't help with your specific need for quantitative information, but I have come to the conclusion - for me - that seasoning at the table isn't even worth consideration.

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Only anecdotal evidence here but the people in my circle of friends/family who season at the table do so WITHOUT ever tasting the food first! As soon as they are served they reach for the salt and sometimes the pepper and put on so much salt I wonder why I didn't just serve seared salt.

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

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Only anecdotal evidence here but the people in my circle of friends/family who season at the table do so WITHOUT ever tasting the food first! As soon as they are served they reach for the salt and sometimes the pepper and put on so much salt I wonder why I didn't just serve seared salt.

The phenomena of auto-condimenting was humorously discussed in one of Terry Pratchett's hundreds of Discworld books. Its discovery is said to have saved the catering industry thousands by not adding any salt in the first place. :biggrin:

if food be the music of love, eat on.

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When I was much younger and working for my first high end caterer the boss had me go over the rentals list to double check her. I noticed there were no salt shakers listed with the tableware....she said Chef doesn't allow them.

Tracey

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I looked, but I've never seen research on it one way or the other. Not allowing salt at the table may save some compulsive auto-seasoners, but it seems a bit pretentious to me. If a person is that addicted to salt, they probably wouldn't appreciate properly seasoned food in the first place.

On the other hand, if it's regular Morton's iodized salt we're talking about, I probably wouldn't want it on the table either. For me, that kind of salt adds nothing to the meal. Fleur de sel on the other hand.. :raz:

edited to correct capitalisation

Edited by Shamanjoe (log)

"...which usually means underflavored, undersalted modern French cooking hidden under edible flowers and Mexican fruits."

- Jeffrey Steingarten, in reference to "California Cuisine".

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