“A Wise Woman Puts A Grain Of Sugar Into Everything She Says To A Man, And Takes A Grain Of Salt With Everything He Says To Her” HELEN ROWLAND
Throughout history, the first ingredient added for seasoning food has been salt. Many Cavemen were likely bludgeoned to death over what we today take as a grain of… Er, take for granted. I have no hard evidence to convict any Cavemen, although we do have Archeological evidence that many Neolithic settlements were closely accessible to salt springs, and flats by the sea.
Moses required the Israelites to salt every meat offering as a savory smell before God. Of course, there was much more to it than that, as God of the Bible Himself, speaking to the Israelites, commanded every offering, ( not meat only) unto Him to be salted. Even burning incense was salted as a testament, and reminder of His “Salt Covenant“with them. Salt was purifying, absolute, sanctifying, separating, non corruptible.
In bread recipes, and other dishes, salt was used ceremonial, as well as practical. It was the “Anti-Yeast” so to speak, and quite possibly added to some Grape Juices to prevent fermentation.
Nonetheless, we see throughout history, as documented in the Bible and other places,the uses, and symbolism’s of salt are possibly as immense as the state of Utah, so we wont go much deeper trying to sift them all out here. I might mention that Lot’s wife was turned into a pillar of salt, but…that wouldn’t be kosher. So, moving right along.
Roman Centuries, along with the land they received, should they survive the wars, were partly paid, during their time of services rendered with salt.
There are the refining connotations Jesus spoke of in His teachings, imputing those who followed Him, needing be the salt of the earth,..the Flavoring element of an otherwise unsavory world, so to speak. And yet, on the opposite end of the spice rack, Assyrian, Hittite, and Roman history accounts reveal a practice of “Salting the Earth” of their enemies, thereby cursing them, or anyone to ever grow anything, or return to the land.
Not sparingly, most of us know salt is a wonderful preservative, and was used throughout history to corn meats, and other food- rations, thereby curing, or at least absolving many dreaded Winter survivals. Ancient old salts, or, Cod fishermen,while sailing the briny, discovered that salting fish caught as far out in the Atlantic as the Grand Banks of North America, kept it palatable and fresh enough to sell back in Europe, shaking the Medieval European free trade guilds up quite coarsely.
I think we have dappled over the surface of salt’s history, enough to move on to the topic at hand, though there are oceans of resources not covered, or even sprinkled upon here. Reasonably, to preserve time, this brief summary will have to do in a pinch.
WARNING TOO MUCH SALT CAN BE CAN BE HAZARDOUS TO YOUR HEALTH
It has been said conservatively, that : “Salt has over 14,000 household uses, and your grandma knows every one“. That being said, and at a dash for time, and realizing most of us are familiar with its savory seasoning qualities in the kitchen, I will not attempt to cover, or claim to know all of them.
There is one use of salt in the kitchen, which, though many seasoned cooks are familiar with, not everyone is, and that’s using it to cook things known for sticking to the pan. There are many ways to go about using it as a “Pan Sticking” Inhibitor also, and I by no means claim to know, nor will I try to explain them all here. ( I do welcome your personal methods if you’d like to leave one in the comment section).
This of course, DOES NOT APPLY TO TEFLON COATED COOKWARE!!!
The first example to introduce salt’s wonderful ability to keep food from sticking to a pan is on the griddle, or flat grill. Many cooks prefer seasoning their griddles with salt, and oil, and not just oil, depending on what they use their griddles for. For a griddle used to cook pancakes, (or the section of the grill used for that specific purpose) I recommend before beginning the cooking, rubbing the grill ( a dry, cold grill, using a hand towel) with salt.
After wiping it clean, sprinkle another good layer of salt over the grill, or section to be seasoned. Now pour a good amount of cooking oil, ( High Burning Point Oil If Available) over the salt. Heat the grill to around 300 degrees Fahrenheit until it begins to smoke. Cut grill off, and leave the oil and salt until it cools enough to wipe clean with a hand towel. It’s fine if you are seasoning the grill for the next morning to leave the salt, and oil on the griddle until you are ready to cook pancakes ( or whatever you’re cooking) and then dust the salt off, before heating it up, and seasoning it with oil. The reason the salt/oil bake helps to keep food from sticking is it fills in the open pores of the metal grill top. It is the same for stainless steel pans also. Buffing The Grill Or Pan With Salt Is The Key
Saute and egg pans: A stainless steel sautoan, or egg pan, whether flipping burgers, cheese, seafood, pasta dishes, or beautiful unbroken yolks, and omelets, are seasoned before use in the same way as grill tops. You should never wash with water again until you have finished cooking for the day: For example, if you are cooking for a banquet, or in a restaurant, and there is a break between your first round of eggs etc, you don’t want to send it to the dish washer, but rather rub it clean with salt, then heat the oil before the cooking begins again. Once you wash stainless in hot water, the pores expand and the salt process should be done again on a clean dry pan, before cooking. It is important to remember that both grilling, and sautéing use very high heat, therefore, using lower heat can cause the pores to capture particles and cause sticking. So do as the French word evokes: Saute = jump , or leap in the pan.
No don’t leap into the pan…just turn the heat up and learn to flip the food over high heat, and have a meal in no time.