Salt Sweetens Up
Sodium levels may be the next subject of scrutiny on restaurant plates, but before that happens salt is showing up in some unexpected places—like desserts and beverages—on mainstream menus.
Balancing sweet flavors with a little dash of salt is a trick pastry chefs have been using for years. Many candy aisle confections also showcase the push and pull of salty sweets, and now coffee house chains, yogurt places and casual dining restaurants are shaking more of the magic flavor crystals.
In sweets, caramel seems to be salt's most popular companion. The flavor pairing started trickling onto menus in May 2010 when Starbucks tried a salty caramel bar cookie. Another early salted caramel sighting showed up in Minters Menu Insights LTO Tracker in May 2010, when MaggieMoo's Ice Cream and Treatery featured an elaborate concoction of chocolate ice cream and Goobers in a chocolate covered waffle cone, all topped with pieces of sea salt and caramel.
Starbucks really poured this trend to the mainstream when the brand introduced salted caramel as a coffee drink flavor in September 2010. Now salted caramel hot chocolate, mochas and espressos are highly anticipated autumn standards, drizzled with caramel and sprinkled with sea salt and Hawaiian turbinado sugar, for a pop of flavor and texture on top of this liquid confection.
Also in September 2010, Uno Chicago Grill added Bread Pudding with a Salty Caramel Sauce as a permanent menu addition. It took other foodservice segments nearly two years to jump on this salted caramel bandwagon, but now it's...Read More
AFYI, this is a promotional press release for Diamond Crystal salt, and Chef Janet is employed by Cargill, the manufacturer.
Well sodium content is already at criminally high levels in many baked goods.
I stopped baking with salt, and after a week of adjustment the baked goods all taste just fine. I make them with salted butter and regular baking powder. NO ADDED SALT. NO ADDED BAKING SODA.
My baked goods have a naturally sweet taste that is the true flavour of the flour, butter, eggs, and other ingredients plus the natural extracts and fine flavours that I add. People eat MY cakes and compliment me on how they all taste "not too sweet".
I add very little salt to bread dough, and I also use less yeast. My bread calculates out at 100mg sodium per 2 ounce baked portion.
As a consequence of all the hidden sodium I very rarely buy baked goods, especially after I read the sodium content on the labels.
So maybe, MAYBE, the salt producers should get out in front of all the hidden heart disease and strokes that their product causes, and CUT OUT such promotions.