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I'm having salt issues!

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Old 10-22-2008, 01:29 PM   #1
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Default I'm having salt issues!

Bleah.

Lately I cannot seem to get the *right* amount of salt in my cooking. Over the past 18 months or so I've cut way back on salt, so things that used to be just fine for me now taste incredibly salty. In fact a few weeks ago I actually took my fries at 5Guys back and told them to make me a fresh batch w/out salt because I couldn't eat them.

Ok, so at home, I make most things from scratch, including chicken stock. I add salt during the cooking process to foods, but in very small quantities. But lately I just can't seem to get it right.

Last week I made a batch of butternut soup with my homemade stock (no salt) and it was BLAND. I added salt at the table and it was still bland. I just couldn't get it to taste right.

This week I'm eating a new batch of butternut squash soup for lunch (made from the SAME recipe, with the SAME stock from the freezer, and the SAME amount of salt added during cooking) and it's so salty I can't finish the bowl. I'll probably go home and throw away the rest because it's simply inedible.

I don't think it's my cooking. I think it's me. I think for some reason in the last couple of weeks I've become really sensitive to salty tastes and it's driving me CRAZY.

W/out any salt, food is so bland I can't handle it. With the tiniest bit of salt added, it's too salty and I can't eat it.

Bleah.

(And before anyone asks or comments - NO I'M NOT PREGNANT. I've already been asked.)

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Old 10-22-2008, 01:45 PM   #2
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I started using spices to make up for the lack of salt. My favorite is garlic powder.

If that doesn't work, I say compromise. If it's between eating salt (and holding water) or going crazy, I'd say give yourself the salt, and make up for it by drinking extra water. As long as you keep your system flushed, an extra sprinkle of salt might be okay.
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Old 10-22-2008, 01:53 PM   #3
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How weird!!! I dont know, PC. Thats crazy. My mom (and subsequently, I) never cook with salt but add it at the table. With soups it would be a bit trickier though. Not sure. Hmm...
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Old 10-22-2008, 01:55 PM   #4
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How's your blood pressure? Any issues? Does it ever fluctuate?
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Old 10-22-2008, 04:40 PM   #5
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Has the weather started changing yet where you live? I find that fall - with it's chilly nights/warmer days/chilly nights/chilly and windy days - wreaks havoc with my sinuses. As a result I can't taste (or smell) as well. Do you have allergies? They can also interfere w/your sinuses and taste/smell. Try putting a Breathe Right strip on and see if you notice a difference in taste. If it improves w/the strip on then maybe your sinuses are the culprit; perhaps inflamed or swollen.

I've noticed as I've gotten older that my sense of taste and smell are not as sharp as they used to be. Could be just your body changing?

I switched from using regular salt in my cooking to kosher salt. I use less but less is more, as far as taste goes (if that makes sense). At times I've noticed that no matter how much salt I add to potato or tomato based dishes, it just isn't enough or, like you experienced, its waaay too much.

If all else fails, blame the food.
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Old 10-22-2008, 04:49 PM   #6
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I have an addiction to putting salt and pepper on my food. It used to be way worse. I have put five salt packages on a Chic fil A chicken sandwich once. I have tried using to the low sodium salt but it taste gross to me.
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Old 10-22-2008, 07:05 PM   #7
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All good suggestions.

I don't have allergies in general, but the weather has been fluctuating recently, so that could be a part of it.

I already use kosher salt (yay) and I love it.

My blood pressure is (as far as I know) normal.

I think it's just me being weird.

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Old 10-22-2008, 07:46 PM   #8
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Can you focus on using salty-ish ingredients rather than actually -salt-?

Example - anchovies. Cook them down and they melt into a dish and just taste...salty and nutty...without being overpoweringly so like salt can. Light soy sauce provides both salty and umami, so you get the flavor complexity of the umami to tone down the saltiness. Parmesan, olives, etc contribute that salty/nutty quality in a milder way.

You can always add a pinch of sugar and a pinch of cayenne - sometimes adding the two contributes a nice flavor profile to interact with the salt. And for soups and such, if something is oversalty, do the potato trick..drop in a peeled potato cut in half, cook for 10 mins. It soaks up the salt.
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Old 10-22-2008, 09:25 PM   #9
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Manda - those are some good ideas. I hadn't thought about using anchovies and I don't know why, cause I love them.

Yeah, I should have thought of the potato trick, as well. I was at the office when I nuked my soup, so it wouldn't have helped then, but I oculd have done it here at home before I ditched the rest of hte batch.

Next time!!

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Old 10-24-2008, 09:02 PM   #10
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I go through times when my sense of taste isn't very good and other times when it is really sharp. I thought I was just weird.
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