Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Tidbit Thursday #4

Pass the shaker, this week's tidbit info is all about salt!

  • Salt is an indipsensible tool in our kitchens - it makes our foods taste better, juicier, sweeter (yes, sweeter), and just plain good. There's table salt (rock salt, pretzel salt, iodized salt, pickling salt) , kosher salt (additive free and loved by many cooks and chefs because it dissolves quickly), and sea salt (Hawaiian salt, fleur de sel, black salt).
  • Today salt is relatively cheap and can be bought at any corner store, national supermarket chain or upscale gourmet store (depending on how much you want to spend), but that wasn't always the case. Because of its importance in food preservation and its difficulty to obtain, salt was an extremely valuable commodity throughout the ages.
  • Salt, or sodium chloride, is a chemical compound with the formula NaCl (does that bring you back to high school chemistry class or what!). For every gram of salt, almost 40 per cent is sodium (Na) and over 60 per cent is chlorine (Cl).
  • Every cell of our body contains salt!
  • Ideally you want to have much less than 2,400 milligrams of sodium a day (USA) — that's about 1 teaspoon .
  • That includes ALL sodium and salt — what's in the product, and added in cooking and at the table.
  • Processed foods account for most of the sodium and salt consumed by North Americans.
  • In contrast to pepper, which loses flavour once ground, there is no advantage in freshly grinding salt prior to its use.
  • Check food labels — sodium is in some foods you might not expect, such as soy sauce, deli meats, some antacids, low fat salad dressings, & pickled anything!
  • According to the Globe and Mail "...the average Canadian consumes nearly 3,100 milligrams of sodium a day, according to Statistics Canada, more than double the daily recommended amount for adults."

Canada's Windsor Salt offers these tidbits:

Something's Fishy!
Removing fish odour from your hands is simple easy with a little salt. Just rub your hands with a lemon wedge dipped in salt, then rinse with water.

Chill!
Forgot to put your wine or champagne in the cooler? Try this...place the bottle in an ice bucket. Add a layer of ice on the bottom and sprinkle it with a few tablespoons of salt. Continue to layer salt and ice until it reaches the neck of the bottle. Then add water to ice level. After about 12 minutes, it is ready to serve. Don't forget to rinse ice bucket thoroughly after use.
 
Read More:
 
Gormet vs Iodized Table Salt:
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/special-reports/hard-to-shake/gourmet-v-iodized-table-salt/article1194741/
 
Mars is covered in Table Salt?
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/7302591.stm
 
Make sculpting "clay"
http://www.windsorsalt.com/household/household_10.html.htm
 
As Canadian as Salt?
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/health/as-canadian-as-salt-study-finds-more-in-our-food/article1227967/
 
Salt Glossary
http://www.thenibble.com/reviews/main/salts/salt-glossary.asp

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