Salt and pepper seems to be basic for a lot dishes and we certainly see it on many if not most dinner tables.  But lately I’ve been thinking twice before I put pepper on something.  Sure, it’s an important addition to pasta carbonara and I wouldn’t want to eat mashed potatoes with it, but for some dishes I consider it a detriment.  Like a perfectly ripe heirloom tomato. All that needs is some olive oil and salt.  Add pepper and  you’re masking the flavor of the tomato whereas salt does exactly the opposite, it brings out the flavor.  Same as it does for vegetable, some fruits, and all starches.  Bread, pasta, potatoes, beans and rice are absolutely bland without salt and even desserts need a pinch to bring out the best flavors.  I use Kosher salt for almost everything and keep it in glass shakers with large holes in the top, the kind you see at pizza parlors for “shaking” cheese.  It’s got a nice taste, gives you a bit of crunch on top of a steak or tomato and isn’t costly like the many sea salts on the market.  In fact the only thing it doesn’t work on is popcorn and for that I have a box of table salt tucked into the back of the cabinet.

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