Salty dishes are called by this name due to the presence of significant amounts of sodium chloride that we call ‘salt’ in simple terms. Salt is mainly added to the salty dishes as a flavor enhancer or in few instances as a preservative. The main property of salt is to provide flavor to the salt dishes by subduing the other flavors. Salty recipes are widely used to make various kinds of snacks, appetizers as well as main course dishes. Salty dishes are quite popular among people of all age groups.
Salt is highly used as a preservative as well. Salt is added to various pickles, meat sausages, fish and processed foods in order to increase their shelf life. Salt cured ham, bacon and pork come under the category of well-liked salty recipes, though they should be washed thoroughly before cooking to remove excess salt. Marinated meats, salted biscuits and salted dry fruits are highly acclaimed as salty recipes. In few instances salt is seasoned as well. For example garlic salt is a flavorful ingredient that is specially added to increase the flavor of some specific foods.
Historical Facts about Salty Recipes
The importance of salty recipes can be felt by the fact that salt is one of the most important mineral for our body. Researchers showed in their studies that salty foods are universally accepted and salt is the most essential and powerful ingredient for every kitchen. The origin of rock salt and sea salt led to the introduction of salty recipes in early civilizations. Before the industrialization of salt, it was very expensive to make salty foods, but due to modern trade facilities salt becomes an easily procured commodity. Potato chips are considered the most popular salty recipe and it was first invented in 1853 by an American chef George Crum. Dried and salted cod has also changed the entire scenario of perishable foods. With the introduction of salted meats, it became very easy for the sailors to carry food with them during the ‘Age of Sail’.
Popular Types of Salty Recipes
Salty recipes comprise different food categories. Some of the popular salt dishes are as follows:
- Appetizers and snacks –Sweet dishes are relished at the end of the meal and salty snacks are savored at the beginning of the meal. Salt cured sausages, chips, fish fingers, salted nuts, as well as, salted biscuits are some of the popular salty dishes served as snacks or appetizers. In some cuisines, salted recipes include gramflour-based fried snacks, salted dried lentils as well as salted snack mix.
- Main course – Generally, processed foods and salt cured meats form the list of main course salty dishes. Salt cured ham and sausages are highly admired salty recipes to be served in main course.
Popular Salty Recipes of Different Cuisines
- American – The salty dishes in American cuisine mainly comprises of processed foods. Salt cured steaks and salt cured bacon are some of the popular salty recipes in America.
- Asian – Asian recipes are world famous for the salty dishes. Asian recipes mainly include MSG (monosodium glutamate) that is mainly a flavoring salty ingredient. Salted biscuits and fried nuts with sprinkled salt are fondly eaten as snacks in Asian cuisine. In Indian cuisine, salted snacks, popularly known as ‘namkeen’, include dried and fried lentils sprinkled with salt, namkeen ‘sev’ and gramflour -coated fried peanuts. Salted popcorn is also one of the most well-liked salty recipes.
- European - In European cuisine, predominance of salty recipes can be seen by the recipes such as salty cheese strudel filling and dried salted cod. Cured and salted olives are also highly savored in European cuisines. French fries and potato chips are the most popular salted snacks served in European cuisine.
- African – In African salty recipes mainly black salt (sea salt) is used. Some such recipes are Cedar Planked Salmon with Maple Glaze and Hawaii Kai Black Sea Salt, black salt cured fish and salty pickled lemon.
- Middle Eastern – Kosher or coarse salt is also widely used in making Middle Eastern salty dishes. Fried, salted peanuts and cashew nuts are highly acclaimed salted snacks.
Health Implications Concerning Salty Dishes
Salty recipes are undoubtedly required in every palate and are able to provide essential minerals, such as manganese, potassium, sodium and calcium but excess of sodium may lead to various health implications. Salt is always related to high blood pressure which is the main cause behind various cardiovascular diseases.
Osteoporosis, gastric cancer and heartburn are some of the other ailments caused by excess consumption of salty dishes.
Salty Recipes Trivia
Potato chips are also known as ‘Saratoga chips’ due to the fact that they are first invented in Saratoga resorts, New York.