From Sodium-Free to "Salt Away"

I always leave the Fancy Food Show thinking the most common ingredient I’ve seen is either “no” or “-free.” And it’s been fascinating over the last 30 years watching as what I call nutrition nuttiness surges and wanes. One era salt is the devil, and the next fat is demonized. Then sugar takes a hit before it’s time for salt to be banished again. So I was quite encouraged to see two of those dietary demons actually transformed into stars this year. A number of exhibitors were showcasing artisanal butters, and flavored salts were everywhere. You could try them pumped up with bacon or truffle, oregano or saffron, lemon or chipotle or even chocolate. I especially liked the blends from a company called Chef Salt, a perfect name given that one big trait that separates the pros from the home cooks is absolute fearlessness when it comes to seasoning with sodium. This year’s “no” and “-free,” BTW, were GMOs and gluten. I hope the former never gets its reputation back. Photo taken at the Melissa’s Produce booth, as evidence of a promising new trend: fresh fruits and vegetables targeted at specialty stores.

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