People’s Biggest Fears: Seasoning

It seems to me that people who have not been exposed to cooking in their youth, have not had a mother who cooked in front of them, and/or, never endured restaurant work of any kind, have many irrational fears and misconceptions about cooking: how hard it is, how much time it takes, how much knowledge you have to have, how many things you have to purchase… Whatever it is, there is always some reason why they simply cannot cook.

I digress. Why is it, I wonder, that people are afraid to put salt and pepper on their food? (and yes, in case you were wondering, seasoning is: salt and pepper). They apparently do not fear the actual seasoning, but the flavor it would impart.

The truth is, most gourmet food is fresh, well-sourced ingredients, and salt and pepper. That’s what you pay for when you go to a really nice restaurant.

Cooking is simple, but it becomes complicated when people are afraid to season their food. Blandness in home cooking can most often be attributed to those adventurous people bringing good raw ingredients into their homes, and refusing to sufficiently salt them. What they get is bland food, and what we get on the other side is complaining. Not salting your food is nobodies’ fault but your own.

My old boss once told me that all our pasta was cooked in water so salty it tasted like sea water. Yes. That is a true story. Sea water.

So go ahead. Sprinkle that half a teaspoon on your chicken breast, that teaspoon on your vegetables, that tablespoon or two in your rice and pasta water.

To evenly sprinkle freefalling salt, grab it between your fingers and rub them together over your ingredient while moving your arm in a circle. For salt in a container, I hope I don’t I have to tell you to just shake it or twist it.

This series will continue to explore fears and misconceptions in the kitchen, and some tips on how to get over them.

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