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Old 08-02-2006, 03:25 PM   #1
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Exclamation Potatoes will not make a soup taste less salty

We have all heard that if you make something too salty then you can throw some pieces of potato in and it will remove some of the saltiness making your dish more edible.

This is an old wives tale that has been told for years and it simply is not true.

Since this comes up every once in a while I thought I would post this link to an excellent article that proves this trick does nothing to make a dish taste less salty.

If you like this article then check out the authors books. The rest of his stuff is as enlightening as this article.

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Old 08-02-2006, 04:30 PM   #2
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Well I'm not old, or a wife, and I have been known to do this on occasions, and I feel it works. I think it's probably the sugar pill for a headache effect, but hey ho!
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Old 08-02-2006, 05:24 PM   #3
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I learned a long long time ago to never add salt to a dish (except for baked goods) - & I've stuck to it & have never regreted it.

A sea salt grinder is placed on my table for those who want it. I have to admit that I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of times I've used it. Salt is, quite frankly, a very over-used ingredient to the detriment of health.

Oh - just realized I didn't answer your question - lol!!!

Have to say that my grandmother always thought the potato thing was true, but trust me - it NEVER worked.
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Old 08-02-2006, 06:07 PM   #4
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Yep, I tried that one many years ago when I made a very salty pot of chile. Don't know how it got that salty, but I bet alcohol was involved
Any way, I had heard that putting potatoes in the pot would draw out the salt. So I cut two large russet potatoes into 1/2" slabs and plopped them into the chile for about 1/2 hr. I removed the potatoes and tried the chile , still too salty to eat. The tater slabs were pretty darn tasty though!
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Old 08-02-2006, 06:11 PM   #5
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But more potatoes (or more anything) will dilute the saltiness of the dish by a bit.

Object lesson: don't measure salt or anything else over the pot; measure over the sink and then add it to the pot.

And John, there ain't no salt in alcohol! What's wrong with you?
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Old 08-02-2006, 06:23 PM   #6
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I don't care what that article says...adding potatoes or pasta, or anything else that isn't seasoned, for that matter, does dilute the salt. That's just common sense.
Of course, when one does drunken salting, sometimes there is no remedy.
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Old 08-02-2006, 06:49 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FryBoy
But more potatoes (or more anything) will dilute the saltiness of the dish by a bit.

Object lesson: don't measure salt or anything else over the pot; measure over the sink and then add it to the pot.

And John, there ain't no salt in alcohol! What's wrong with you?
Yeah, I know Fry.
I'm pretty sure that the alcohol didn't go into the chile though
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Old 08-02-2006, 07:09 PM   #8
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I think it is more that the sweetness of the potatoes counters the saltiness of the soup. Adding a sugar pill probably does more in this case...
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Old 08-02-2006, 07:49 PM   #9
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I disagree -- you can't hide salt with sugar.
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Old 08-02-2006, 09:00 PM   #10
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We are talking about two different things here.

GB was referring to the cooking 'tip' that says to cook some potato slices or chunks in a salty soup or stew and then remove those potatoes, removing salt with them. This does not work. The potatoes absorb salted liquid from the soup or stew and when you remove the potatoes, you remove both the salt and the liquid, leaving the stuff in the pot with the same saltiness. It's the same as sticking a sponge into the soup and removing it.

What Fry Boy and Constance are referring to is adding cut up potatoes or pasta to the dish and leaving them in there. That will reduce the overall salty taste because you are, in effect, diluting the salty dish with added ingredients.

My opinion is, if you are going to add stuff to a recipe to cut the saltiness, just add more of the same ingredients so you end up with the dish you started out with.
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