We’ve talked previously about salt playing two important roles in cooking. Firstly, it reduces bitterness and secondly it enhances and balances the flavour of the other ingredients in a dish. And, now it would seem that it’s not just us that believes this. A chef at a Michelin star restaurant is also defending salt as a necessary ingredient in many dishes.
Mark Poynton, chef and owner of Cambridge based restaurant, Alimentum, states that whilst it isn’t hard to take salt out of a dish the overall taste would be greatly affected. “It wouldn’t be difficult to take the salt out and replace it with Umami rich flavours that would act in slightly the same way, but the overall effect of the dish would not be the same.”
Poynton, who joined Alimentum in 2008 as head chef, before taking over the business in 2010, reiterates the importance of salt in cooking, claiming: “As a chef flavour is paramount to everything that I serve to my customers and there are some things that would just not taste the same without salt.”
Like us, here at SaltSense, Poynton believes that salt is a necessity in the kitchen. “It is not just a flavour enhancer, salt is also used for brining meat and fish in order to make it more tender. When it to comes to aubergines and cucumbers salt is also great for drawing out water and enhancing the texture of the ingredient.”
Poynton concluded by saying that there is little need to add extra salt to a dish at the table when eating out. “I don’t put salt shakers on the table, I never have. I believe that if you pay to go to a restaurant of a certain standard you should taste the food before adding extra salt. Obviously everybody’s taste is different, but as chefs we should be trusted to get the best possible flavour out of food for the customer’s enjoyment.”
So, if we didn’t shout it loud and clear enough before, with chef Mark Poynton now also defending the use of salt within cooking, we can shout it even louder this time – salt is a necessary ingredient when it comes to good food!