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The Poetry of Taste: Why It Matters Which Salt You Use

09/06/2022

Believe it or not, it’s still a mystery to science quite how salt works to enhance flavors and make food taste better.  All we really know is that salt has a greater impact on flavor than any other ingredient. Not only is our entire tongue receptive to all tastes (contrary to the false belief that distinct areas on the tongue are more attuned to one taste or another) but we receive information about our food from other surfaces in our mouth too. 

Salt’s relationship to flavor is multi-dimensional: when you add salt to a bitter or sour food, it has the effect of diminishing the bitterness or sourness. That’s why the combination of salt and dark, bitter chocolate is so successful, as is salt and vinegar.

At the same time, salt intensifies sweetness. Think watermelon and feta. It also explains why a pinch of salt is almost always part of a dessert recipe.

Salt has the same intensifying effect on umami foods like cooked tomatoes, soy sauce and miso.

Mark Bitterman, author of SALTED, manifesto of the world’s most essential mineral, tells us that while salt tastes good in its own right, it also improves the flavors of food we need, but might not be that keen on eating. Broccoli tastes better with salt, for sure. So does mackerel.  And when it comes to recreational foods, the blandness of popcorn would be intolerable were it not for the transformational quality of salt. Yes, yes and the butter 😉

WHAT SALT YOU USE MATTERS

Like wine, salt has its own ‘terroir’, and is uniquely flavored by the environment in which it is created.  Terroir is also responsible for salt’s nutrient profile.  Oryx Desert Salt comes from the pristine, unpolluted underground rivers in the Kalahari Desert.  Dried under the Kalahari sun, it’s unprocessed so it retains all of the natural micro-nutrients and minerals such as magnesium, zinc and potassium that make it so healthful and tasty.

Here’s what David Eckert (USA Food and beverage journalist and TV host) says about Oryx Desert Salt: 

𝘓𝘦𝘵 𝘮𝘦 𝘵𝘦𝘭𝘭 𝘺𝘰𝘶, 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘪𝘴 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘱𝘶𝘳𝘦𝘴𝘵, 𝘴𝘵𝘳𝘰𝘯𝘨𝘦𝘴𝘵, 𝘮𝘰𝘴𝘵 𝘧𝘭𝘢𝘷𝘰𝘳𝘧𝘶𝘭 𝘴𝘢𝘭𝘵 𝘐 𝘩𝘢𝘷𝘦 𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘳 𝘩𝘢𝘥. 𝘛𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘪𝘯𝘤𝘭𝘶𝘥𝘦𝘴 𝘮𝘺 𝘳𝘦𝘤𝘦𝘯𝘵 𝘱𝘢𝘴𝘴𝘪𝘰𝘯, 𝘱𝘪𝘯𝘬 𝘏𝘪𝘮𝘢𝘭𝘢𝘺𝘢𝘯 𝘴𝘢𝘭𝘵, 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘮𝘺 𝘭𝘰𝘯𝘨-𝘵𝘪𝘮𝘦 𝘰𝘣𝘴𝘦𝘴𝘴𝘪𝘰𝘯, 𝘣𝘭𝘢𝘤𝘬 𝘨𝘢𝘳𝘭𝘪𝘤 𝘴𝘢𝘭𝘵. 𝘛𝘩𝘰𝘴𝘦 𝘢𝘳𝘦 𝘣𝘰𝘵𝘩 𝘸𝘰𝘯𝘥𝘦𝘳𝘧𝘶𝘭, 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘐 𝘸𝘪𝘭𝘭 𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘶𝘦 𝘵𝘰 𝘶𝘴𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘮 𝘳𝘦𝘨𝘶𝘭𝘢𝘳𝘭𝘺, 𝘣𝘶𝘵 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘖𝘳𝘺𝘹 𝘋𝘦𝘴𝘦𝘳𝘵 𝘚𝘢𝘭𝘵 𝘵𝘢𝘬𝘦𝘴 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘯𝘨𝘴 𝘵𝘰 𝘢 𝘸𝘩𝘰𝘭𝘦 𝘯𝘦𝘸 𝘭𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘭! 𝘐 𝘩𝘢𝘷𝘦 𝘯𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘳 𝘦𝘹𝘱𝘦𝘳𝘪𝘦𝘯𝘤𝘦𝘥 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘣𝘳𝘪𝘨𝘩𝘵𝘯𝘦𝘴𝘴 𝘰𝘧 𝘧𝘭𝘢𝘷𝘰𝘳 𝘧𝘳𝘰𝘮 𝘢 𝘴𝘢𝘭𝘵, 𝘢𝘭𝘮𝘰𝘴𝘵 𝘭𝘪𝘬𝘦 𝘢 𝘭𝘪𝘨𝘩𝘵𝘦𝘯𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘣𝘰𝘭𝘵 𝘵𝘰 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘱𝘢𝘭𝘢𝘵𝘦, 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘐 𝘥𝘰𝘶𝘣𝘵 𝘐 𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘳 𝘸𝘪𝘭𝘭 𝘢𝘨𝘢𝘪𝘯. 𝘛𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘪𝘴 𝘴𝘦𝘳𝘪𝘰𝘶𝘴 𝘴𝘵𝘶𝘧𝘧. 𝘈 𝘭𝘪𝘵𝘵𝘭𝘦 𝘨𝘰𝘦𝘴 𝘢 𝘭𝘰𝘯𝘨 𝘸𝘢𝘺. 𝘉𝘶𝘵, 𝘖𝘳𝘺𝘹 𝘋𝘦𝘴𝘦𝘳𝘵 𝘚𝘢𝘭𝘵 𝘪𝘴 𝘴𝘦𝘳𝘪𝘰𝘶𝘴𝘭𝘺 𝘥𝘦𝘭𝘪𝘤𝘪𝘰𝘶𝘴!

HAVE YOU DONE THE TASTE-TEST?

Not all salts are equal - and that goes for flavor and texture too. Grind a pinch of Oryx Desert Salt into your hand and taste it. Then grind sea salt / and or Himalayan salt and... taste the difference!

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“𝘖𝘯𝘦 𝘰𝘧 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘷𝘦𝘳𝘺 𝘯𝘪𝘤𝘦𝘴𝘵 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘯𝘨𝘴 𝘢𝘣𝘰𝘶𝘵 𝘭𝘪𝘧𝘦 𝘪𝘴 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘸𝘢𝘺 𝘸𝘦 𝘮𝘶𝘴𝘵 𝘳𝘦𝘨𝘶𝘭𝘢𝘳𝘭𝘺 𝘴𝘵𝘰𝘱 𝘸𝘩𝘢𝘵𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘳 𝘪𝘵 𝘪𝘴 𝘸𝘦 𝘢𝘳𝘦 𝘥𝘰𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘥𝘦𝘷𝘰𝘵𝘦 𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘢𝘵𝘵𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯

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