If salt was a drug, I could sell it by the gram.
What was up with those Queen dudes and that Bowie, ripping off a fine artist like Robert Van Winkle like that, anyway?
Saw a brief news article that made me cringe, the food nazis are back at it again. A New York state legislator has introduced a bill that, if passed, would ban the use of salt in restaurant cooking. Thankfully, and understandably, the restaurant community is up in arms and fighting back.
The bill, A. 10129 (if you cared) states, in part: "No owner or operator of a restaurant in this state shall use salt in any form in the preparation of any food for consumption by customers of such restaurant, including food prepared to be consumed on the premises of such restaurant or off of such premises."
The legislation, which Assemblyman Felix Ortiz , D-Brooklyn, introduced on March 5, would fine restaurants $1,000 for each violation. (No word on the regulation of Pepa or Spinderella.)
I agree that some fast food chains could probably cut their sodium use 90% and we'd never notice. Fine dining establishments, those that rely on the more delicate balance of the five tastes our bodies perceive, are less guilty of this, in my opinion.
Some, especially my darling wife, would suggest that I use far too much salt. I may not agree, but I can see that. However, what are they really driving at here with actual legislation to control our health, what could they hope to achieve? If I go to my grocery store, buy a Hot Pocket from the freezer for my lunch, that's almost half of my RDA of sodium right there. And who eats one Hot Pocket? Instead, I cook many of our meals at home, use fresh vegetables whenever possible, and try not to season heavily when I cook. However, I like salt. I like salty things. Buttered egg noodles with salt and pepper, salt on eggs, tomatoes, meat. Salt on my French fries when I do eat out. But I don't salt apples or melon or pizza, like some are apt to do. I don't salt desserts, though I did just have a sea salt caramel pretzel ice cream that was wonderful, and a Lindt sea salt dark chocolate bar a few weeks ago, with the hint of salt once the mouthfeel of cocoa butter had passed. And yes, I'm being treated for hypertension. I take a little generic pill once a day and all is right with the world.
I like fat, too. Much like the evils of salt that 'those in the know' like to force upon us, foie gras faced a similar fate in Chicago some years back. Foodies are a powerful lobby, I guess, and some creative chefs found a loophole until the ban was ultimately lifted. Because foie gras tastes good. Bacon tastes good. Cheese tastes good. Salt makes things taste good, complimenting sweetness or cutting oily or acidic flavors.
Salt is a preservative. A flavor enhancer. Even a required mineral to keep all liquid from evacuating your body like a fire drill. Salt was once currency. Will legislators outlaw money next? Perhaps just in restaurants.
And they said there's no such thing as a free lunch.
Oh, Just Shut Up and Lie Down Somewhere
3 weeks ago