The character assassination of salt

November 10, 2020
 by Paul McGowan

We generally associate salt with unessential nice-to-have seasonings, condiments, and food enhancers. I would argue salt is instead a critical ingredient.

Salt fundamentally changes food. It denatures the rigid structure of proteins, making their flavors tastier and more aromatic. Salts bring out aromas by releasing specific molecules from food into the air, which in turn stimulates our olfactory receptors. Salt changes food’s ability to retain moisture and it fundamentally changes food’s structure at a microbial level, which in turn affects how bacteria interact with our gut.

Why does any of this matter? Because when it comes to our high-end audio systems there are corollaries. Take cables for an example.

We treat cables as accessories when in fact they are essential. Try running your system without them.

Worse, we imagine them as possessing the ability to enhance, to make better, to go beyond that which existed before their addition when in fact the best they can do is harm less.

And the same can be said for salt. It is essential to getting food not only right but healthy and palatable—the very essence of why we eat.

Cables, like salt, are essential.

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