Thursday, April 29, 2010

Spices and Seasonings: Kind of Important

I've never really been into herbs and spices. The closest I ever came to actually seasoning something was when I put oregano on my pasta. I just didn't understand the point, and I hated having to floss when the damn herbs got caught in my teeth.

As you may or may not be aware, French food, which I decided would be my new food cuisine of choice, has a lot of seasonings. Fairly early on, as per usual, I decided I would ignore that section of the recipe. I have to say, my food turned out successfully, bland as always. So you can imagine my surprise when I got to the section on seasonings in French Women Don't Get Fat and I found my interest piqued. When Mireille mentioned someone putting pepper on ice cream, I actually thought, "Hmm, that could be good!"

As you might expect, the quality of one's seasonings is tres important. That's why the French use mills for both pepper and salt, grinding these staples at the last second to release fresh flavors the moment they are needed. Sea salt, much more intense than the standard iodized table variety, makes a world of taste difference. Did you know there are at least a dozen varieties of peppercorns?

Well, consider me sold. I even tried buying a basil plant that promptly died, just like all the other plants in my life. I decided that buying instead of growing, even though it cost more, would probably be better.

I also decided that it was okay if I added salt to my foods. I cut salt out completely when I started cooking for myself because I was so disgusted at how much salt was in processed foods I figured I'd had enough for a lifetime. Plus, salt just made me retain water and look puffy. But since I supposed salt could enhance a meal (and not just preserve it or hide staleness), I started using a little bit in my cooking. I suppose it's a little bit better, but I still like to err on the side of caution.

1 comment:

  1. I LOVE spices & seasonings! Brian's in love with buying the grinders haha. He has so much fun with those. And I actually like sea salt better. It has a really unique taste!