Originally Posted by jennyema
My point was to disagree with what Mav said: "Too many people think salt is necessary in cooking or that its only purpose in cooking is flavor which is just not true."
Salt's only purpose in cooking is to enhance flavor. It is not added to preserve food or for any other reason.
Salt is necessary in cooking if you want to optimize the flavor in your food. Without it, you will not have the same depth of flavors as you will have with it. That's just elementary food science.
As you pointed out I said too many people think salts only
purpose in cooking is flavor. You said salts only purpose in cooking is to enhance
flavor. Not true, salt adds its own flavor to dishes as well. Which is why I pointed out that salt serves more than just adding its own flavor to the dish, it also serves as a flavor enhancer and as a preservative. Just because you cooked it doesn't mean the salt in it can't help preserve it. Dishes with sugar in them go bad long before dishes with salt in them. See also unsalted butter verses salted butter.
As for salt being necessary in cooking, no it is not. If it was, no one would have ever cooked anything until we had discovered and begun using salt. Salt is a matter of taste and for some a matter of improvement over what they had before. For me it ruins the flavors of a dish when more than a pinch is added, for others it adds to it. Has nothing to do with elementary food science, but rather individual tastes.
Elementary Food Science says salt can act as a spice, a flavor enhancer, and as a preservative in both cooked and uncooked food items.