Originally Posted by GB
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.