Worth Their Salt

Jonathan Sawyer, chef at Restaurant Trentina in Cleveland, and Jeremy Umansky, the restaurant’s “resident forager and ‘fermentationist,'” are growing their own seasoning salts:

“The process starts with a super-salty solution of the recycled salt and water. Sawyer ties a string to a spoon or stick, suspends it into the solution and waits. As the water evaporates, salt crystals begin to form on the string. When the whole string is covered in giant crystals after about 30 days or so, it’s removed and set out to dry. Then, the salt gets misted with the brine, which hardens onto the crystals, imbuing them with color and the flavor of whatever it came from.”

Grain of Salt

A report from the Institute of Medicine throws cold water on the low-salt campaign:

“A surprising new report questions public health efforts to get Americans to sharply cut back on salt, saying it’s not clear whether eating super-low levels is worth the struggle.

“Make no mistake: Most Americans eat way too much salt, not just from salt shakers but because of sodium hidden inside processed foods and restaurant meals. Tuesday’s report stresses that, overall, the nation needs to ease back on the sodium for better heart health.

“But there’s no good evidence that eating very low levels – below the 2,300 milligrams a day that the government recommends for most people – offers benefits even though national guidelines urge that certain high-risk patients do just that, the Institute of Medicine concluded.”

‘Tis the Seasoning

Adina Steiman is on a salt kick:

“Maybe it was all of that turkey salting we did over Thanksgiving, but right now, all we can think of is how to use more salt in our cooking. Nope, not just to season our food and bring out the flavor of other ingredients (we do plenty of that already). We mean using salt as a flavoring all by itself.

“Fact is, though salt excels at bringing out the flavor in other ingredients (and even increases your perception of their aroma before you take a bite), it’s also delicious all on its own.”