Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Upsides to the Down Economy/ Of Salt and Pepper

Remember the days when salt and pepper consisted of Morton's Iodized Salt (with the little girl with her galoshes and umbrella) and Black Pepper in a red and white can? Those days, thankfully, are gone but now the choices of salts and pepper can seem to be overwhelming. I never use pepper out of a can, now that I've discovered fresh ground pepper. The oils and peppery taste is released when you grind them, just like coffee. The stuff you buy in a can could have been ground a while ago, and to me, it's tasteless. I also enjoy crushed red pepper, especially on pasta and pizzas, to spice things up a bit. Salts can vary in size, color and taste depending on the body of water from which it was extracted;. they are like oysters in this regard. Good old table salt has its place, but I've come to really love Kosher salt, for its flaky texture and saltier taste, especially when cooking. Sea salt, now rather common, is more delicate and finer in texture. I find I need to use a lot to get enough salt. Super fine salt (Morton's) is perfect for popcorn, coating it more thoroughly than regular. We brought some coarse, red volcanic salt back from our honeymoon in Maui. It is supposed to be served with the Luau pig (but how often does that happen?) so I've put it my salt grinder for everyday use. My daughter A.J. brought some pond salt with goat pepper home from her trip to the Bahamas and it combines the best of both worlds- salt and pepper. It is a moist salt and needs to be kept covered, lest it dry out. A dash of it is the perfect addition for everything from scrambled eggs, to soups to grilled meats and veggies. The only problem is, we're going through it at an alarming rate! Salt, a rare commodity in ancient time, is a fun seasoning to experiment with, trying different varieties. It adds so much to any dish (as long as you don't overdo it) at negligible calories so- go crazy, and spice up your life!

My Collection of Salt and Pepper Shakers

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