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Author Topic: salt in food  (Read 8872 times)

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Barney girl

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salt in food
« on: April 30, 2012, 11:32:17 AM »
This is more of a cross-Channel question than trans-atlantic as it's addressed to the members of the board who live in Germany.
I've just had a visitor from Germany who commented how little salt the British use in their food. As she put huge amounts of salt onto sweet and sour chicken I'm not surprised she found there wasn't enough in the other meals I did. I've never noticed food in Germany being too salty for my taste, but do the Germans use a lot of salt?


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Re: salt in food
« Reply #1 on: May 01, 2012, 09:18:30 AM »
I'm not German but I don't want to see this thread go down the tubes so I'm posting.

My Grandmother was German but I don't recall her food being especially salty. 

Also, personal tastes differ greatly. 

I do know that many American restaurants are far too salty for our tastes.  Soups seem to be a particular problem.

However, there's a German restaurant a few blocks away that makes excellent soups and they don't even have a salt shaker on the table.


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Re: salt in food
« Reply #2 on: May 01, 2012, 11:05:50 AM »
My mother, who was raised in a German farming community (even though it was in Ontario... everyone had German last names and spoke the language so I'm hoping this counts) never cooked with salt, and I seem to remember that Grandma never did, either, apart from pinches that are necessary in baked goods or they don't turn out properly.  I'm the same; to me, salt tastes unpleasant and I really don't like eating out at many restaurants because of it.  On the bright side, I hope that this means that my risk of hypertension is minimal! 

I'm suspecting that the visitor from Germany is simply another of the vast number of salt-addicted individuals in the world--nothing particularly cultural about it and not something that I'm equipped to comprehend.


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Re: salt in food
« Reply #3 on: May 01, 2012, 11:15:31 AM »
I'm English, but I'm married to a German, and do a lot of German cooking.

I think it is possibly a more individual thing than a British/German thing. DH and I don't use much salt, but have found people in both countries using more salt than we do. Both cultures used salt as a preservative (although often in different ways) and traditional foods still contain salt.

If she had been eating a lot of sausages, ham and similar traditional foods, she might have got the impression that the Germans were a nation of salt eaters- but that doesn't always follow through into their more modern diet.
NE England


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Re: salt in food
« Reply #4 on: May 01, 2012, 11:17:59 AM »
Probably O/T but:

Aren't the government and doctors always harping on about food in the UK containing far too much salt? We all probably go way over the recommended daily allowance even before we add extra. Branded bread has been featured in the news over it's high levels (sept 2011).

I stopped adding salt to things when I was about 14 and now I can't stand the taste of it. I am also a lot calmer. Except when I go to buy fish and chips and they ask if I want salt while they're already pouring it on. Grrrr....


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Re: salt in food
« Reply #5 on: May 01, 2012, 05:16:43 PM »
I'm thinking about some of the German sausages and saurkraut - wondering if maybe there is salt there.


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Re: salt in food
« Reply #6 on: May 01, 2012, 07:05:01 PM »
Oh, there's salt in traditional sauerkraut.  The stuff is made by layering cabbage and salt in a crock.  The mixture is then pressed down and allowed to ferment.  It's sort of a German version of Kinchee without the hot peppers.  The variety of cabbage is different but the method is similar.


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Re: salt in food
« Reply #7 on: May 01, 2012, 11:31:05 PM »
I would agree that it is an individual thing. I have some German ancestry, and I love salty food. I use massive amounts. But my mother doesn't use much at all and she cooks more family recipes than I do. Your visitor's close family may use a lot of salt in their cooking, and order salty foods when they go out, so she's used to the taste.
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Re: salt in food
« Reply #8 on: May 02, 2012, 02:39:56 AM »
Well, I personally hate bland food and use quite a bit of salt in my food. But this is certainly not true for all Germans. I have a lot of health conscious friends who go to great lengths to avoid salt.

From the years I spent in the UK I do remember that I thought the veggies were often too bland for my taste, so maybe that was were she was coming from. I really don't like unseasoned peas and even green beans need a little salt, IMO.

Kitty Hawk

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Re: salt in food
« Reply #9 on: May 05, 2012, 06:38:29 AM »
Of course there is salt in German food, but it is not really salt-intensive.


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Re: salt in food
« Reply #10 on: May 06, 2012, 10:39:06 AM »
I'm not German either but I've been there several times and I can't say I've experienced that the food is saltier there than in Sweden.
As nischi says, some food needs salt to bring out the other flavours, but that is usually just a pinch.

So I agree with the other that this was probably just her.


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Re: salt in food
« Reply #11 on: August 27, 2012, 10:55:18 AM »
My mother was German and she was liberal with salt.  End result is that I am a little too fond of it. 

This may have been due to my mother's very low blood pressure, and I appear to have a genetic benefit from that.  My blood pressure is just below the stated norm.

I don't cook with much salt because there is so much in stuff we buy.  However, I love pretzels, chips, and popcorn.