"Discover Cooking, Discuss Life."

Go Back   Discuss Cooking - Cooking Forums > General Cooking Information > Cooking Resources > Terms & Techniques
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 12-19-2007, 08:29 PM   #21
Chief Eating Officer
 
GB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: USA,Massachusetts
Posts: 25,509
I was about to post something very similar Charlie. Adding salt after the fact is (in many cases) not the same as adding it during the cooking process. It just does not work that way.
__________________

__________________
You know you can't resist clicking
this link. Your eyes will thank you. VISUAL BLISS
GB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-20-2007, 03:49 PM   #22
Master Chef
 
CharlieD's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: USA,Minnesota
Posts: 8,394
I've had numerous arguments in restaurants whith the staff. I would specificaly ask to make sure to salt my stake before grilling and they would bring me cooced stake with out any salt. And recomend that i add salt my self. I've send stakes back, I've walked out of places like that, I would refuse to pay. To me to salt stake aftrwards is like eating piese of meat with chunk of salt. I hate that.
__________________

__________________
You are what you eat.
CharlieD is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-13-2008, 04:23 PM   #23
Assistant Cook
 
Skydancer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 18
Not sure I believe the "debunking" of this OWT.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GB View Post
This is an old wives tale that does not work. For a great explanation, see

Really, the only way to make something less salty without changing the dish is to make a second batch without salt (or less salt) and combine the two.
I'm not entirely convinced that the article you cited by Mr. Wolke is correct.

First of all, he didn't mention having done a taste test of the water (he taste tested the potatoes).

Second, his theory is that the potato absorbs salted water which won't reduce the concentration of salt in the water. However, potatoes already have some water and I'm not sure they absorb any extra water. So, in fact, the salted water could exchange places with the unsalted water in the potato which would reduce the concentration of salt in the water.

Third, he measured the salt concentration via electrical conductivity and, as he himself mentioned, potatoes contain potassium, which probably leeched into the water, which could have increased the electrical conductivity enough to account for the missing salt. Of course I don't know if the potassium in potatoes is in the form of potassium chloride which is, itself a salt, though I find it not nearly as salty tasting as sodium chloride.

Has anybody actually ever tried a taste test? My guess though is that, at best, it would take a lot of potatoes to make a significant impact.
__________________
Skydancer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-13-2008, 04:37 PM   #24
Chief Eating Officer
 
GB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: USA,Massachusetts
Posts: 25,509
I have tried a taste test and the results on my test were that the potato did not do a single thing.

For those that think this trick works, what is it about the potato that you think attracts only the salt from the solution? How is the potato a salt magnet only?

For me, I am not wasting my potatoes. All the food experts will tell you that the only way to fix something that is too salty, without changing the desired taste is to make a second batch with less salt and combine the two. That is good enough for me.
__________________
You know you can't resist clicking
this link. Your eyes will thank you. VISUAL BLISS
GB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-13-2008, 09:02 PM   #25
Assistant Cook
 
Skydancer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by GB View Post
I have tried a taste test and the results on my test were that the potato did not do a single thing.

For those that think this trick works, what is it about the potato that you think attracts only the salt from the solution? How is the potato a salt magnet only?

For me, I am not wasting my potatoes. All the food experts will tell you that the only way to fix something that is too salty, without changing the desired taste is to make a second batch with less salt and combine the two. That is good enough for me.
If there's anything to the theory (and I readily admit there probably isn't), my guess would be that most spices have a larger molecular structure that can't penetrate the potatoes (or at least, not as well)....though I have no idea how to verify or repudiate that.

Personally, I'm with you though. I'd rather make a second batch with less salt and combine them or pour out some of the water, add more and re-spice it. Depends on how long it's been cooking and exactly what it is. Or I just dump it and start over again! In theory though, I'm not convinced it couldn't work.

Of course there's also a theoretical possibility that there's something in the potatoes that reduces the taste of saltiness without actually reducing the salt content and it's possible that different people's taste buds respond to it differently (which would make it a bad way to solve the problem since some of your diners would probably still find it too salty). Yeah, I know, I'm throwing out some fairly wild hypothesis here, but I wouldn't be convinced by a "scientific test" until those issues (and others that I haven't thought of yet) were addressed.

I don't know what to make of the conflicting opinions of people who have actually tried it though. I've never tried it.
__________________
Skydancer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-13-2008, 09:07 PM   #26
Chief Eating Officer
 
GB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: USA,Massachusetts
Posts: 25,509
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skydancer View Post

I don't know what to make of the conflicting opinions of people who have actually tried it though. I've never tried it.
Well if it is true that the potatoes do nothing then the placebo effect would explain it perfectly.
__________________
You know you can't resist clicking
this link. Your eyes will thank you. VISUAL BLISS
GB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-13-2008, 09:57 PM   #27
Assistant Cook
 
Skydancer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by GB View Post
Well if it is true that the potatoes do nothing then the placebo effect would explain it perfectly.
Very true though the placebo effect can work both ways. I'm always reluctant to ascribe things to the placebo affect without convincing evidence though because a lot of people get insulted by it.

BTW: Just thought I'd mention that I believe almost all (if not all) spices, other than salt, are organic in nature and I thought I'd remembered learning that organic molecules tend to be very large so I went and did a little research and, sure enough, almost all carbohydrates, fatty acids and amino acids have much larger molecular structures than sodium chloride.

I think somebody needs to do a double blind taste test
__________________
Skydancer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-13-2008, 10:12 PM   #28
Certified Pretend Chef
 
Andy M.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 41,374
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skydancer View Post
...I think somebody needs to do a double blind taste test

You're elected. Please provide a fully documented report.
__________________
"If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe." -Carl Sagan
Andy M. is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-14-2008, 12:37 AM   #29
Assistant Cook
 
Skydancer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy M. View Post
You're elected. Please provide a fully documented report.
I'll get my father to do it. He's a Nuclear Physicist, I'm just a lowly computer programmer!
__________________

__________________
Skydancer is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



» Discuss Cooking on Facebook

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:23 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.