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Old 12-11-2006, 09:59 PM   #11
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I'll remember the potato trick in future. I was just thinking about dumping lots of tomatoes in it and simmering further...
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Old 12-12-2006, 11:17 AM   #12
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Sorry but the "potato trick" is a kitchen myth which has been dispelled over and over again by food scientists.

A potato does not selectively soak up only salt. It's just a sponge, soaking up some of the liquid.

Robert Wolke says " There was no detectable difference whatsoever in the salt water before and after being simmered with potato. That is, the potato did not lower the concentration of salt at all, either in the one-teaspoon-per-quart sample or in the one-tablespoon-per quart sample. The potato treatment just doesn't work. Period."

Read more here

The only way to save a salty soup or sauce is to dilute the liquid or add more of the nonsalty ingredients.

Also, sea salt isn't saltier than table salt or kosher salt. All salt is equally salty. What is different is the size of the salt crystals. The larger the crystal, the less salt per volume in a measuring unit. Kosher salt's crystals are larger than table salt's, thus you need more kosher salt to achieve the saltiness of one teaspoon of table salt. So it depends on crystal size,
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Old 12-12-2006, 11:34 AM   #13
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I`ve done similar myself in the past, what you Could do if it isn`t Too bad, is just not salt the pasta at all, the same works if it`s a rice dish too.
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Old 12-12-2006, 03:42 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jennyema
Sorry but the "potato trick" is a kitchen myth which has been dispelled over and over again by food scientists.

A potato does not selectively soak up only salt. It's just a sponge, soaking up some of the liquid.

Robert Wolke says " There was no detectable difference whatsoever in the salt water before and after being simmered with potato. That is, the potato did not lower the concentration of salt at all, either in the one-teaspoon-per-quart sample or in the one-tablespoon-per quart sample. The potato treatment just doesn't work. Period."

Read more here

The only way to save a salty soup or sauce is to dilute the liquid or add more of the nonsalty ingredients.

Also, sea salt isn't saltier than table salt or kosher salt. All salt is equally salty. What is different is the size of the salt crystals. The larger the crystal, the less salt per volume in a measuring unit. Kosher salt's crystals are larger than table salt's, thus you need more kosher salt to achieve the saltiness of one teaspoon of table salt. So it depends on crystal size,

Jen's right on. The potato posesses no magical ability to draw salt out of liquid. It soaks up salty liquid. You could accomplish the same thing by taking out a ladle full of the sauce and replacing it with water. ...and you don't waste a potato.

All food salt is sodium chloride. Sodium chloride comes in only one strength. Differences in taste for sea salt are due to the other minerals that are present along with the sodium chloride.

BTW, comparison taste tests with professional food tasters (I'd like that job), suggest the majority of the population cannot detect a taste difference among table, kosher and sea salts.
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Old 12-13-2006, 01:03 AM   #15
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I remember the point that Jennyema and Andy have made. It was discussed on some thread a while back. Robert Wolke's scientific explanation makes all the sense.

I am just struck and impressed by tkatz's whooping assertion that the potato trick worked for him/her.
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Old 12-24-2006, 10:49 AM   #16
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Placebo effect??
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Old 12-24-2006, 11:30 AM   #17
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I am sure it is the placebo affect. Robert Wolke's experiment was very carefully done and proves that the potato trick is just an old wives tale.

The only way to reduce the saltiness and keep the intended flavor is to make a second batch minus the salt and combine the two.
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Old 12-24-2006, 02:52 PM   #18
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Glad you were able to salvage your sauce. I come from the same school of thought as just increasing the recipe accordingly to compensate for the extra salt. That may just be the Italian in me, thinking there is no such thing as too much "spaghetti" sauce!
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