AN UNCOMMON THOUGHT

"The real trick to life is not to be in the know, but to be in the mystery."
-Fred Alan Wolf

22 January 2019

Magical.


Learning how to season food effectively is one of the cornerstones of good cooking. When novice cooks ask me why their food doesn't taste as good as they want it to taste, the answer is almost always that they aren't using enough salt. I recommend the following exercise: Make a bowl of buttered pasta using no salt at all. Taste it straight out of the pot. Then add a good pinch of salt to it, toss it, and taste it again. Repeat. Taste again. Repeat that process until suddenly the flavor pops, your mouth beings to water, and things start to get really friggin’ tasty. THAT is the power of salt. It makes food—any food, every food—taste more.

But that isn't the case with black pepper. If you were to repeat that same challenge using pepper, you’d add and add and add and never experience that magical, ah-HA moment. That bowl of pasta will start tasting spicier, and more floral, but it will never start tasting like the platonic ideal of noodles and butter. And that’s because pepper does not possess the same magical flavor-enhancing qualities that salt does—it makes food taste like it was seasoned with black pepper.

CONNECT

Guilty. 

Thank You, Jessica.

1 comment:

Bulletholes said...

True. I would add something I learned from Paul Pruhomme. The more different kinds of pepper you can introduce to a dish, the deeper the flavor. The one cooking tip I give people is to go buy a jar of white pepper. Use it and the black pepper in everything you cook. Black pepper has a dark and woody flavor. The white pepper is bright and shiny.
A little dash of cayenne? Another little layer.
But you are right about the salt.