Sugar and Salt
Do you consider yourself a sweet tooth? Or are you more interested in a salty fix? Or maybe you like both, lots of us do, as humans we are hard wired to seek out the sweet, because sweet means easy energy, and in our cave man days easy energy was hard to come by.
And salt, well, I defer to my horse Sandy Cleverly to answer that one, put a salt lick in her paddock and she will eat the lot, stand in one place where she can reach you and she will use you as a salt lick too.
I remember way back when I was a young chef being utterly appalled at the amount of salt my head chef added to absolutely everything, and he said to me, Michelle, we are here to cater to people’s tastebuds, not their health. And he was right, but I do worry about people’s health. With people eating so many of their meals outside of home and all these shows that teach people how to make restaurant quality meals at home, how much has our salt and sugar consumption increased? And don’t even get me started on processed foods! Moon Brother who made this blog would be very disappointed if I go into a four page rant and bore you senseless.
Anyway, here is something to consider. Both sugar and salt are accumulative tastes. What I mean by that is the more we have of them, the more we want of them and the more of them we add, but here is the rub, salt especially, is a flavour enhancer, but add too much, and that is easy to do if we are building up a, well, let’s call it a resistance to it, and it will dominate all other flavours. Sugar is the same, if we are looking to use either of these things as a flavour enhancer less, less, less, less, less is more.
I have one square of dark chocolate a day for my high blood pressure, this morning I put it in my chia porridge, this and a banana were all the sweetness I added and the wonderful thing is, it is sweet enough to enhance the nuttiness of the chia and the sunflower seeds, and the creaminess of the coconut cream and the mild sweetness of the almond milk, so instead of one flavour, mmmm, sweety sweetness, I get mmmm, bananary sweetness, rich dark chocolate goodness, nutty seeds, creamy coconut and the comfort of my own nut milk.
Earlier this morning I also had a cup of my chicken stock bone broth, which, if you have seen that recipe, you will know that it had no salt. That is a really interesting one because it is quite bland to the palate, but the olfactory senses (the nose) pick up the herbs and the chickenyness and the black pepper and the celery, onion, carrot.... To take a mouthful of this and close the eyes and inhale, to mindfully sip down that cup of goodness, engaging all of the senses to bring out the flavours that are subtle, but there, that is a morning ritual to be cultivated, and one that would simply disappear if we were to add salt.