“ Brand: Tesco / Type: Salt „
I would not normally think to do a review of salt. Because, really, what is there to say but that it is salty?! As you will see, I ended up eating my words somewhat. Yes, of course with a dash of salt.
The somewhat ordinary white plastic container with dark blue printing also did not seem like anything to write about, yet the fact that flakes of the dark blue ink printed onto the outside of the white plastic container keep falling off definitely prompted me to do so!
At first I noticed there were bits of blue on my fingertips, I guess from where I had been holding the container, and I was unable to work out where they had come from. Then I noticed a flake or two in something I was cooking, again wondering what the heck. The recipe had not called for adding a dash of dark blue, yet as I was still none the wiser I shook my head in puzzlement and just fished them out.
Then I happened to notice some of the printing on the outside had gone as well as there being some more on my fingertips. Ooh dear, I thought, as the penny dropped (cue rather hollow sound). So I thought I had better write a review about it.
And in the process I learned there is much more to salt than just its being salty. As a matter of fact it was so interesting that I could have written thousands of words in this review, but thought that would be a bit verbose. Some of the very interesting facts about salt which I did find included Mahatma Ghandi having led a protest of at least 100,000 people on what was referred to as the "Salt Satyagraha". India under British rule had a salt tax and it was illegal to make your own salt as doing so avoided the paying of this tax so as part of their protest the protesters made their own salt from the sea, a civil disobedience which inspired millions of the common people and also elevated the Indian independence movement from being purely just an elitist struggle to a national struggle.
I also assumed the 'free running' on the packaging - yes, this has not yet flaked off! - referred to the iodine often added to salt, the practice of adding this to try to prevent iodine deficiencies including mental retardation (or whatever the PC name for this is now) and thyroid problems such as gout having began in the late 1920s. But instead it refers to the extremely small amound of magnesium carbonate - about 1% usually according to what I have read as this HAS flaked off! - used as an anti-caking agent.
I chose this particular salt because of its being very cheap when those pennies I mentioned above were not very forthcoming. From memory, as I purchased this salt quite a while back and did not make much of a note of the cost, this salt cost less than half a pound. A quick search for it on the internet proves it to be almost half of this again as it is currently for sale at 29p.
I guess I had better also write to Tesco and let them know about the flaky printing ink. I don't have the docket anymore though, so have continued to use this perfectly good cheap salt which is... well, salty... by sticking some bubble wrap I happened to have on hand around the container.
Although this salt is so cheap so what else does one expect (though certainly not ink flaking off!), the re-design of the pouring area would be a good idea as the current one makes it a bit hard to control how much salt comes out. So I keep having to toss salt over my left shoulder. By the way, in case you were wondering... which I had been for many years so now have finally looked up (yep, I Googled it!)... this is an ancient superstition where you are throwing salt at the devil who has apparently snuck up on your left side.
And, yes, it is not good to have too much salt in the diet yet some is required for the good functioning of our electrical neural network.
Salt used to be a very valuable substance - in fact, there is an incredibly common misconception that the word Salary comes from the fact that many many years ago, the Romans received their wages in salt . In fact, they were paid in normal money, though they did work hard protecting the salt marshes.
It's also pretty well known that too much salt is very bad for you (the current recommendation is to consume no more than 6g a day) - in fact, overdosing on salt mixed in water was used as a method of ritual suicide in China at one point . One ounce of salt causes the body to hold six pounds of excess fluid - so it was certainly a most effective means of doing away with yourself (though not cheap, this was still in the days when it was pricey!)
However, I purchased my salt neither to pay wages, or to commit suicide . I purchased it because my chips and poached eggs would be sorely lacking without it. And, costing only 27p for a 750g container, it is clearly no longer the luxury item it was in the past.
The container, in basic white and blue, isn't the most attractive on the planet, but it does have a handy dual lid - one opens up into a spout, useful if (for example) you are decanting it into a salt cellar to use on the table . The other side has a number of holes allowing you to sprinkle salt over your food - although I venture to say that the holes on this side are still a little too large for me - I don't actually use salt that often, and only use a small amount when I do, so I prefer to decant a little into a bowl and simply add a pinch or two as and when necessary.
I don't think there is a great deal to be said about the flavour of this salt - it tastes salty, as you would perhaps expect. It is pure white in colour, with fine grains, and tastes excellent sprinkled lightly over potato or eggs . You can also use it to season other recipes, but I really don't use the salt, at least not as it is, in recipes that often.
What I *do* do is use empty spice containers, and fill them with garlic, chive, onion, and parsley mixed with salts to make different flavoured salts. This is an easy and cheap way of adding different tastes to your spice rack, and you need not worry about the garlic, or whatever other fresh ingredient you have used going off, as the salt acts as a natural preservative!
At 27p for a 750g container that lasts (at least in my household) over a year, this is pretty cheap, and adds a nice touch of savoury flavour to foods, such as potato and eggs, that would otherwise be incredibly bland. Do I recommend it ? Why yes, I do - but do be careful not to overdose!