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July 14, 2009



And a little fleur du sel on dark chocolate? C'est magnifique! Or, if you prefer, es magnifico! J'adore le sel...

Enjoy your holiday...and turn off the laptop!!!


And that was quite a 'salty' reply to the wait staff!

Have great vacation!


I don't carry salt, but I keep a corkscrew in my glove compartment, my suitcase, and my toiletries bag. Wherever I may be I have a corkscrew handy. That's not true, actually I do carry salt (and pepper) in my satchel. This dates back to when I flew a lot and the airlines never provided enough salt and pepper to cover the food's lack of flavor.


To me it sounds like the man glued to the Iphone might have meant that the food is expensive - wouldn't the comment byob make more sense in that context? (i.e. the food is so expensive you'd better use the byob option which will make it easier on the wallet)

I hope I don't get an answer like you gave the janitor but I have to say it: don't you, as a good cook who works in the best restaurants, have to know the difference between adding the salt during cooking and after cooking?

PS: Pasta water has to be like sea water.

Ms. Glaze

SAS – yes, yes, turning the laptop off now!!!!

Kevin – Totally with you on the corckscrew in handbag. Can't go anywhere without it.

Hande – You are going to get an answer worthy of your comment: In Pennsylvania there are a lot of restaurants that are B.Y.O.B. Liquor lisences are expensive. It's a fact. Also, in many countries (I have lived in two different ones) where the water to make rice is not salted because the food added to it is extremely salty. I prefer it that way. Pasta, is a different story and I always salt the water.


Yes, I know the expensive liquor licenses. But that was not my point. I am afraid I wasn't clear in saying what I wanted to say: You interpreted that guy's "well seasoned" comment as "he is talking about salt" (at least that is what I understood, maybe I am being slow?) where as I interpreted it as "the food is expensive", so he is telling his buddy on the phone that it is a good thing that there is byob, so at least the wine part of the dinner won't be that expensive... In any case, no offense intended!

And about salting rice water, again, I am not saying anything about your way of cooking rice (though people in the 7 countries I have lived in do salt the water). I am rather talking about your comment to the janitor "You know where the salt is, why don't you use it next time" - if he comes from one of the countries where they salt the water, he won't like the rice as you cooked it, and salting it on the plate won't help him. That is what I meant with the difference btw. salting while cooking and salting later and I am pretty sure you know it very well.


lol.. so funny!!!anyway I'm enjoying your blog.. i like it..eh.. cooking rice with salt..does it taste salty rice? =.= anyway nice to know you..me from singapore..

hungry dog

Nice post. I've read your blog for awhile now, but this is my first comment. I salt pasta water but never rice-- I like it plain too! Then again, I'm half Chinese...


Fun story Amy! I hope you enjoy your time off and please let us know of any interesting recipes you concoct on the beach.


i used to work in product devepolment on salt reduction of existing products (soup). i went from there to LCB in Paris where they taught me to use salt again. now i can't imagine not salting food. when i've added what i think is a touch too much salt to dinner i sit back and count the seconds until the hub remarks "this is good". all it takes is a little salt. ps- i love your writing.


Funny, I lived in Japan for a year so I never salt the water for my salt. My mother on the other hand adds both salt and butter to pot while cooking rice.


Elise.. salt + butter in rice? what does it taste like? -.- abit weird..your mother cooks japanese rice?

Barbara Girga

This article made me sad, not for any reason others have stated but because I cannot use salt, due to HBP. I never did use much salt, but if I even look at a salt shaker, my BP goes up. Medication isn't working, and open heart surgery is an option for the ailing heart, but oh, how I love to cook. And yes, a bit of salt adds so much more to most dishes. But I'd rather live w/o salt as to die using it until I'm dead. To you who have no problem with salt (as my husband), enjoy.

Ms. Glaze

Barbara – I'm so sorry to hear this! Open heart surgery is scary, but can be lead to a better quality of life especially if the meds aren't working. One of my family members just went through it under similiar circumstances. I'm curious though, if you find you crave salt anymore or if your tastebuds have become more sensitive without it? I sometimes feel that we are an over salted world and need to allow for the subtley of flavors to shine through.

Shroom Chef – I tried using butter in the rice water at the restaurant I cook at, but many of the chefs i work with in the morning have high cholesterol so they asked me to use olive oil. If you add butter to the water, it just gives the rice kernels a little extra je ne sais quoi.

Elise – I'm a big fan of adding butter to the water it keeps the grains of rice more separated and obviously add a lot of flavor. The Japanese often add a sprinkle of rice wine vinegar to their cooking water with imparts a lovely subtle acidity to the water. But no salt for sure. That's what shoyu is for!

Hungry Dog – Thanks for your comment! I think most Asian countries do not salt their water for rice because often the foods that are served with it are salty.

Hande – I think we got our wires crossed somewhere! Bises, Amy


Ms. Glaze -oh..I didnt know about that..i guess for western people loves to eat butter with rice..so i guess the butter u using is salted butter?

Barbara - sometime we don't have to use salt when come to flavor..im sure u can using stock to replace salt in dishes.For example like celebrity Pierre White..he don't use salt but stock(knorr)


Amy, baci from here, too!


Salt is the most dangerous ingredient in my kitchen. Go past my bliss point with it and it goes in tha trash. Simple as that!. I use spices to compensate for that extra pinch of salt. Hell I am NOT crossing the line with salt. If I do I might as well toss it all and start over again.

Frank Mitchell

It's one of my supreme joys in life to ask the wait staff of very fine restaurants for salt. I find it a very good test. Some freak one waiter even suggested I didn't need it and made it clear I was being rude for asking for it. That being said I don't like to salt my food at the table, I think seasoning it part of the dish and should come out of the kitchen properly seasoned. And besides its never the same when you season something after it has been cooked.


I'm with Louis, salting something after it's been cooked is just wrong. The purpose of salting is to enhance it's flavour. When you add salt from the salt shaker on your food I find that all you taste is salt! I am from the Caribbean where it is traditional to salt the water for cooking rice. However I have reduced the amount of salt in my diet for health reasons and have come to enjoy rice without salt. So now I tend to find when dining out, that rice is too salty! I laughed when you were 'scolded' for the lack of salt in your rice. I remember it did take me a long while before unsalted rice stopped tasting bland and I still can't manage brown rice without salt.

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