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as meat loves salt

August 24, 2010
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for those of you unfamiliar with the line it comes from Cap o’ Rushes, a traditional English tale – King Lear meets Cinderella. The father asks his daughters how much they love him, and whilst the two eldest come up with insincerely extravagant amounts, the youngest says simply that she loves him “as meat loves salt.” Suffice to say the father is unimpressed and casts his daughter out – I won’t spoil the ending for you, but it’s a phrase that’s stuck – despite the fact that it’s not one I can really use as I don’t eat meat.

I’ve not even tended to be a great fan of salt – I don’t usually cook with it, but (I have to admit it) I am becoming a salt snob. Yes I’d bought sea salt before, and found it overpriced and not that exciting, but in France last year I bought some Sel de Guerand and it was a revelation. Dirty coloured crystals with a distinctive delicious tang. I still don’t add salt while I’m cooking, but it’s a great addition to have at the table, just to scatter a little: chips, potatoes (I know technically chips are potatoes, but they seem to fit in a category of their own some how), tomatoes and eggs are improved immeasurably by the occasional crunch. Cap o’ Rushes knew what she was talking about after all.

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