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Doesn't All Salt Really Taste The Same?

Nancy Leson

  (This segment originally aired July 6, 2016)

Nancy Leson loves the taste of Maldon sea salt.  I claim that what she loves is the texture.  She says "Some salts taste saltier than others."  I maintain that all salt tastes about the same, "It's all sodium chloride," differing only in texture.   What's more, all salt is sea salt.  Even the stuff they mine on land was originally in a bygone sea.

Nance keeps three kinds of salt at her house: the Maldon, Diamond Crystal Kosher salt, and the plain old "when it rains it pours" Morton.  Despite what I said and believe – that all salts taste pretty much the same – I do keep several kinds in the kitchen at Stein/DeGroot Manor . 

For most cooking, I like the Diamond Crystal.  I use a generic "sea" salt for its texture as a finishing salt rather than any imagined flavor difference.  My giant crystal pretzel salt is good on bagels, too.  For New York half-sours cukes, I prefer the  fine grind of Morton's Pickling Salt.  It dissolves easily and contains no anti-caking additives to cloud the brine.

Nancy's annoyed that salt shakers are disappearing from the tables of her favorite eateries. "The chefs think they know better than I do how much salt needs to be in my dish.  Or maybe they're just looking out for my health." Either way, she complains "There's no salt on the tables."

"You gonna take that offa them?" I challenged, and suggested a stealth salt supply scheme. Visit the snootiest restaurants around and  surreptitiously distribute mini-shakers of Morton's to all the tables. Food for Thought will supply updates on her progress as they become available.

"Salt is what makes things taste bad when it isn't in them." – Anonymous

Dick Stein joined KNKX in January 1992. He retired in 2020 after three decades on air. During his storied radio career, he hosted the morning jazz show, co-hosted and produced "Food for Thought" with Nancy Leson and wrote and directed the Jimmy Jazzoid live radio musical comedies and 100 episodes of Jazz Kitchen.