Salt and Pepper are fundamental to our work in the kitchen.
Things like salt and pepper don’t cost much, but most of your food would be tasteless without at least one or the other. However, once you’ve bought these condiments, they can sit safely in the store cupboard for months without costing you another penny. If you can afford it and you have enough cupboard space, buy the cheapest kilo packet of salt you can buy and store it in a dry, damp-proof container. Buy pepper more wisely and stick to buying the 25g – 50g containers, you’ll be surprised how long they last. Students – you will find sachets of salt and pepper available in all of the motorway service stations, these could just get you started.
The above is copied from my Pantry page, but it needn’t stop there as there are many types of salt and of pepper. The paragraph above really only refers to the basics (table/cooking salt and ground white/black pepper) needed to begin your culinary journey.
You may also wish to experiment with one of these:
- Maldon Sea Salt – http://www.maldonsalt.co.uk/ – Produced in Essex, this unique salt is flaky rather than lumpy or powdery like other salts. It lends itself nicely to being sprinkled over freshly cooked (boiled or roast) new potatoes, onto freshly picked and sliced tomatoes or maybe just onto home-baked bread just before it leaves the oven. Buy the 125g packet – it will last for ages!
- Sel Gris – a delicious French ‘grey’ sea salt, still slightly moist – use sparingly.
Are you worried that salt will affect your sex life boys?
“Sometimes the two terms, “salt” and “sodium” are used interchangeably, but technically this is not correct. “Salt” is sodium chloride. By weight, it is 40% sodium and 60% chloride. Sodium is an essential nutrient, a mineral that the body cannot manufacture itself but which is required for life itself and good health“.
It’s worth noting that although salt has a bad reputation for being the root cause of a variety of cardio vascular problems … “Many foods contribute to total salt intake without being perceived as being salty. For example, white bread and cornflakes both contain salt but, unlike potato crisps or nuts, the salt is contained within the food and not on the surface, where it is more easily detected.” From http://www.saltsense.co.uk/salt-nutrition02.php (also download this).
It is therefore incumbent on us to be careful about the amount of salt we use when cooking, but not so careful that we miss out on the flavour salt that provides and (although unlikely) its value to our overall nutrition. TIP: cut out the processed foods and supermarket breads = take control of your salt intake.
PepperAlthough we are used to seeing both black and white ground pepper on our tables these days, it is usually by force of will that we begin to consider some of the more flavourful types of pepper used for seasoning. Peppercorns are small, hard seed balls, packed with flavour. They can be used whole in some dishes or crushed to add bursts of flavour to most dishes – including fresh strawberries. “Try grinding fresh black pepper over a bowl of strawberries and see how it enhances the flavour of the fruit” From: http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/black_pepper
Peppercorns come in a number of different colours, which makes them attractive to look at, however without the addition of another spice (and this can be pretty much anything the same size) they all taste similar.
Links for reference: