Salt of the Earth
A few columns ago, the Palate pleaded with readers to at least taste what’s on the plate before wielding the handy salt shaker. My contention was that you just might over-salt a perfect recipe. Now comes scientific evidence that many well-known restaurants, especially chain-gang places, are shaking on unhealthy doses of sodium during preparation. Why? That’s easy. Salt is cheap and makes bland food tastier.
Among popular family food establishments cited in tests for excessive salt levels up to three times advisable sodium consumption levels were: Olive Garden, Red Lobster, Chili’s and Denny’s. These are alarming statistics and there are surely other offenders, but the public can fight back by patronizing privately-owned establishments where a chef, rather than a short-order cook, is in charge of the kitchen. And wherever you dine, think bad taste before you pour on the salt. The bad habit is so wide-spread that even President Obama was observed as he casually salted chef-seasoned Cajun cuisine at a New Orleans landmark. We devoutly want our leaders and their contingents to follow a healthier trail. “Better to be the salt of the earth than an abuser of it.”