Season to taste....

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by geoff_in_nc, Jul 31, 2019.

  1. geoff_in_nc

    geoff_in_nc Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    At least in the US here, salt and pepper are a given on the breakfast/lunch/dinner table. How did we arrive at these becoming ubiquitous? Why not thyme and fennel? Or something else? I mean I love salt and pepper, and use them frequently, but what would we see on the table in some alternate universe? Inquiring minds want to know.....
     
  2. Manual Slim

    Manual Slim Friend of Leo's

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    Thyme and fennel aren’t at home in nearly as many dishes.
     
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  3. 1300 E Valencia

    1300 E Valencia Friend of Leo's

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    I think salt and pepper used to be very expensive, so having them on your table meant you were well off. You know, like being fat. You need a mine for salt, and a tree for pepper. Thyme and fennel can be grown in a window planter. Didn't Google any of this, so I could be wrong.
     
  4. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    There were wars and invasions over controlling spice. Certain things were only found on certain islands. People were enslaved and forced to harvest spice. It was all done to please the aristocracy/kings/queens. England, as usual, were some of the worst culprits. I saw a great series on PBS about it a few years back. Super interesting.
    Salt is the universal flavor for any bland food. I think pepper and salt rose to the top like Teles and Strats. it's just what people want.
     
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  5. geoff_in_nc

    geoff_in_nc Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Thyme and fennel were just examples... I personally hate fennel, so I'd never have it on my table anyway. The question is more around how did taste preferences develop? If there was no salt and pepper would we have developed a taste for something else? Or are salt and pepper just something we just instinctively want? I think we NEED salt, so it makes sense that we crave it and also value it (or did in times past). Your thoughts?
     
  6. Manual Slim

    Manual Slim Friend of Leo's

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    Oh, I know you weren’t recommending them specifically. Salt and pepper are pretty applicable to a wide variety of foods though and that’s what I was getting at.
    I suppose if I grew up eating unsalted things seasoned with, say, coriander and allspice that would seem normal, but those things don’t always blend into the background and complement a dish. I suppose I can only say that because I’ve spent years using them in specific situations.
     
  7. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    :confused:

    I got shichimi togarashi on my table.

    [​IMG]
     
  8. rcole_sooner

    rcole_sooner Poster Extraordinaire

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    [​IMG]
     
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  9. jhundt

    jhundt Doctor of Teleocity

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    history, as taught in the USA. Gotta love this, don't ya?
     
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  10. Norris Vulcan

    Norris Vulcan Tele-Afflicted

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  11. burntfrijoles

    burntfrijoles Poster Extraordinaire

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    Why not cayenne? How about some propriety cajun seasoning like Tony Chachere?

    Some like it hot!!
     
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  12. String Tree

    String Tree Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I have a Lot of Clutter on my Kitchen Table.
    None of which belongs in a meal.
     
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  13. Nickadermis

    Nickadermis Friend of Leo's

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    I do believe that salt was a necessity. We preserved many foods in salt. Not sure about black pepper though ? Perhaps it made rancid spoiling food more palatable?


    But I have been many places where pepper wasn’t a staple. Although salt always seemed to be in one form or another ?

    Oh well, as always I have more questions than answers :)
     
  14. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    If you call an internationally distributed documentary video "US Teaching" then yes I guess. I suppose you deny the holocaust, and imperialism by Spain, England, the Vikings, Portugal, US too....?
     
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  15. jhundt

    jhundt Doctor of Teleocity

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    Schmee, I know you, from your posts, to be quite an intelligent person; well-read and well-educated. The fact that you watched the PBS documentary supports my positive impression.

    But to sum up the OP's question about why salt and pepper are the standard table condiments in the USA by saying : "It was all done to please the aristocracy/kings/queens. England, as usual, were some of the worst culprits" is just far too glib and (as we say in Holland) too short through the turn.

    PBS made a documentary about it (which I would like to see). I suspect that it ran to many hours and revealed much fascinating history. I doubt that the summary of that documentary would read so simply as you stated it.


    "England, as usual"... meaning what?
    "it was all done to please the aristocracy/kings/queens" sort of skips over the whole history that I suspect the PBS documentary attempted to explain.
     
  16. unixfish

    unixfish Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    Just gotta let you know - that is not a candy! :lol:
     
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  17. gwjensen

    gwjensen Friend of Leo's Platinum Supporter

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    I never add salt or pepper at the table, but always have this close at hand...

    [​IMG]
     
  18. RatBug

    RatBug Tele-Meister

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    Salt isn't just some flavor additive, it chemically changes the way food tastes when we eat it or mechanically changes the way our taste buds work (Something like that). It enhances flavors of everything, even sweet things which is why it is even added to ice cream or coffee.

    You don't salt your food till it tastes salty, you salt it till the flavor jumps.

    Try it. Cook a piece of meat with no salt. Try it and it will be pretty bland despite all that grill time.
    Now add just a bit of salk and try it again, then again, then again. At some point you will notice the flavor get bolder, not salty but more there.
     
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  19. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    I find a lot of meat salty, and I'm not talking processed food :confused:
     
  20. G&Lplayer

    G&Lplayer Tele-Meister

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    Isn’t the word salary derived from the Roman word for salt as the centurions were paid in it? Also salt can come from the ocean, as in sea salt and from salt lakes. Onondaga lake had enough salt in it to have people evaporate the water to make salt, it gave Syracuse NY the nickname “the salt city”. It also gave us the salt potato, but that’s another story for another day.
    As for pepper, the only kind I use is red.
     
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