Salt and its substitutes…

A little while ago I waxed rather angry about being instructed to eat a salt-free diet. Good food means a lot to me – hell I have only one meal a day – I’m not going to ruin it by eliminating salt. Anyway, we need salt – without it we die – and as I eat little in the way of salt-laden processed food, not using it at all isn’t an option I’ll even consider.

Let’s face it, my life expectancy sucks anyway, so why make myself even more miserable?

I am, however, having some success with reducing salt – I’m not suicidal (well, not this week, anyway). My first product was a ramped-up version of my Harissa which, while it contains some salt, is used in tiny amounts so the salt content per meal is minuscule.

Next came LoSalt. Mentioning this to Denial Nurse was received with horror. “You can’t use that, it has potassium!” Yes, I know, I’m not an idiot and it’s not a secret. Potassium – bottom line – can stop your heart. But for it to do that you’d either have to mainline the stuff, quite literally, or ingest LoSalt in probably physically impossible amounts. A sprinkle on my chips won’t harm me. Anyway, use too much and it tastes vile.

And I have sea salt which, allegedly – and I’ve no idea if it’s true – is better for me than table salt, and its added chemicals. Mind you, considering what fish and marine mammals do in the water, I’m not sure anti-caking agents are much worse!

So – which do I use? All of them, in judicious amounts, plus pepper, black during cooking, white on the plate. And if the last time you tried white pepper was when the dusty, one-dimensional, Lion brand ruled the pantries of this country, modern white pepper will be a complex revelation. Just buy a decent brand, like Schwartz, not own-brand versions which are Lion reincarnate. The same applies to ground black pepper too (I bought some Asda black pepper earlier this year – smelled just like dust). Way too much snobbery attaches to pepper mills which, for me, never grind finely enough, and I’ve used pepper mills since the early 60s, in various styles and materials, even battery-powered. None of them impressed me at all.