Jan 24, 2010

Food for Thought

Have you ever wondered why it is that all of the Food Network guru’s tell us time after time to use ‘kosher salt’? I do! And while this thought may only last half as long as it actually takes to say ‘I wonder why I have to use kosher salt?’, every time I hear those words… a big flashing why scrolls across a marquee in my head. We add kosher salt to EVERYTHING… food, water, snow, rims of drinks, snails (I did this once as a kid, it was terrible and I cried) etc., so shouldn’t we know what the name is all about??

In school, teachers always say that if you have a question, ask it! Because chances are someone else is wondering the same thing, but they are too afraid to ask. I was always the latter student. So now I’m going out on that limb. I am asking and hopefully those teachers were right and you all are wondering what in the salty world ‘kosher salt’ really means. If not... here is a picture of my two adorable love sponges to make this post worth while for you...


Kosher salt (as opposed to table salt) is larger grain salt and does not contain the additive iodine.  Kosher, in this case, is short for koshering. Sources differ on their explanation, but most agree that the name came from it’s koshering properties. This salt was used to make meats kosher, by helping to extract the blood. The larger grain helped it do this, since the meat absorbed smaller grains too easily. According to Bon Appetit, table salt and kosher salt are not created equal. 1 tsp. of table salt is equal to 1 ½ Tablespoons of Kosher salt.  WHO KNEW?? Not me!
Since the words of Ina, Giada, and Alton have been ingrained (pun intended) in my mind, I always use kosher salt when a recipe calls for ‘salt’. I can’t say that ive tested the 1 tsp. table salt = 1 ½ Tbls. Kosher salt theory either. Whether its baking or cooking, when I list ‘salt’ in a recipe, I am referring to kosher salt.

So there's your food for thought Friday… on Sunday :) I hope you can rest (and cook) better, knowing the truth behind the name…*cue law & order sound…DUN DUN*  KOSHER SALT. 

I don’t want to leave you without a recipe… so here is one that’s short and simple.
Olive Oil Toasts

Cut as many 1/2 inch slices from a baguette as you would like. Toast them for a few minutes in the broiler until slightly golden. Remove from the oven and drizzle each with the freshest olive oil you can buy**. Sprinkle with a little bit of salt, and viola! Perfect snack/appetizer!

It may sound boring, but the quality of the olive oil really makes these great! The better the olive oil, the better these little toasts will be.

**Olive oil has been freshly pressed recently, so now is the time to find the real deal. You can find FRESH olive oil at most Italian specialty stores. If you are in the bay area, go to the Pasta Shop in Berkeley. I recently purchased a great newly pressed olive oil there and it is fantastic. And unlike wine, olive oil does NOT get better with age. The younger the better!!

No comments:

Post a Comment